Enviroplan responds to Ipswich’s changing conservation needs

For more than 20 years that one line on your rates notice – Environment levy – has made a significant difference to conservation across Ipswich through the Enviroplan initiative.

Now Enviroplan is moving forward with a new framework to enhance the city’s conservation values, while remaining true to its original intent of ensuring the protection of habitat for our incredible variety of native plants and animals.

The successful 21-year-old Enviroplan initiative will have a new policy and procedure to provide a stronger framework for Enviroplan to secure, manage and enhance land across the city for conservation values, as well as biodiversity and nature-based recreation.

Works, Parks and Recreation Acting Chief Operating Officer Bryce Hines said the introduction of a new policy and procedure would ensure Enviroplan’s significant achievements would continue with modern transparency and governance.

“This established program has remained consistent with its original intent, ensuring the protection of habitat for thousands of plant and animal species in the City of Ipswich,” he said.

“There are still key areas in Ipswich that council would like to see preserved and maintained as part of a conservation estate, and Enviroplan still has work to do with acquisitions.

“However with the increasing popularity of recreation in our conservation estates, the balance has shifted with a greater need for management and improvement of the areas purchased through Enviroplan.

“Enviroplan will continue supporting the preservation of our natural areas for future generations.”

Through Enviroplan:

hectares of land purchased and consolidated within conservation estates

hectares of land managed through conservation partnerships with landholders

Significant habitat for the vulnerable brush-tailed rock wallaby at Flinders Goolman conservation estate was secured through Enviroplan Initiative.

Here is one of the shy marsupials spotted with a motion-sensored wildlife camera.

RELATED STORY: Where’s Wall(ab)y? How to spot a camera-shy Ipswich icon

Since the inception of Enviroplan in 1996 more than 6500ha of land has been purchased and consolidated within council conservation estates, including the largest remaining strands of endangered swamp tea tree habitat in southeast Queensland and habitat for the vulnerable brush-tailed rock wallaby.

One of Enviroplan’s key original goals was environmental protection through conservation estate management, and has funded vital activities such as revegetation, walking trails and other improvements.

Facilities such as the Paperbark Flats picnic area at White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate were created through Enviroplan, to help cater for the growth in nature-based recreation.

A number counter at the Paperbark Flats picnic area tallied almost 28,000 people in a year.

RELATED STORY: See Ipswich conservation estates in a new light when you walk in the dark

Enviroplan has also helped deliver extensive nature conservation studies to ensure decision making is based on up-to-date evidence.

Through Enviroplan council has also been able to work with hundreds of landholders across the city to secure and actively manage an additional 7000ha through conservation partnerships.

The initiative also supports conservation education and awareness, such as the free Kids Go Wild school holiday workshops and the annual Enviroplan photography competition and calendar.

There were 1513 entries in the 2018 Enviroplan photo competition, with the best to be showcased in a calendar.

The competition encourages greater appreciation of our local environment, and inspires action to protect our natural areas.

RELATED STORY: Winning images from 2018 Enviroplan photo competition

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