Ipswich’s natural environment will have a strong foundation for dealing with ongoing pressures such as population growth and climate change.
Environment and Sustainability Committee Chairperson Councillor Russell Milligan said a newly adopted Natural Environment Strategy sets the direction for council-led management and protection.
“As one of the fastest-growing populations in Australia we face challenges such as balancing the needs of our environment with pace of urbanisation,” Cr Milligan said.
“We are also impacted by wider and long-term issues such as climate change, which is expected to bring increased temperatures, longer droughts, more frequent floods and a harsher fire-weather climate.
“There are no easy answers to these pressures on our natural environment.
“The strategy identifies the priority areas where council can take action to protect or restore Ipswich landscapes so they are more resilient to these pressures.”
The core themes of the strategy are waterways and wetlands, biodiversity and threatened species, Aboriginal cultural heritage and cultural landscape values, urban biodiversity, rural biodiversity and sustainable nature-based recreation.
Councillor Milligan said the strategy had been developed through extensive consultation, and research into best practice, to align with the specific needs of Ipswich’s natural environment.
“Importantly, the strategy demonstrates that we can deliver the best environmental outcomes by taking an integrated approach to council’s delivery of the core themes,” Cr Milligan said.
“A connected and protected natural environment is critical to the future of native plants and animals under threat from existing and future impacts.
“The strategy also recognises that these outcomes cannot be achieved by council alone, and that partnerships and education will be critical.
“Now is the time to step up and commit to these priorities identified in the Natural Environment Strategy, creating a stronger and more resilient future for us all.”