Natural Resource Management
The management of the natural resources in our municipality is shared by all levels of government as well as agencies, organisations and individuals. In particular State government legislation on Native Vegetation Removal and related regulations incorporated in Council’s Planning Scheme aim to protect our natural resources from inappropriate use and development. Our natural resources of soil, vegetation, water, biodiversity have been severely degraded since European settlement and maintaining and enhancing our natural resources in light of the effects of climate change is will be challenging.
All native vegetation is protected, and can generally only be removed, lopped or destroyed with the permission gained through a planning process. Native vegetation is defined in all planning schemes as plants that are Indigenous (locally native) to Victoria, including trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses.
Landholders planning to do any work that will impact on native vegetation, either on their own property, on roadsides, on Crown land, or along water frontages, must call Council’s Planning staff on 5355 0200. Landholders and others who fail to comply with these laws are liable for prosecution and, in addition, may be required to carry out extensive restitution works to replace the vegetation they have removed.
Our region contains magnificent natural assets with a number of rare and threatened plants, plant communities, fauna species and habitats, which emphasises the need for planning permits under State Legislation for any vegetation removal. Our community is enhanced by sharing the Federally protected Victorian Volcanic Plains Natural Temperate Grassland and Grassy Eucalypt Woodland vegetation communities. With less than 1% of its original extent remaining, every remnant area is extremely valuable. Much of the remaining vegetation lies on roadsides; this is protected under Federal Government Environment Protection and Bio-diversity Conservation (EPBC) Act We have a Roadside Management Strategy that guides us in our management works and emphasises the importance of these remnants and their role as corridors and links across the landscape. Roadside management focuses on minimising the impacts of road works, maintaining the values of roadsides by managing the spread of weeds and educating the public about roadside vegetation values.
Council works closely with:
- Landcare Groups
- Government Environment Departments
- Farming organisations
‘We all have an important role to play in ensuring the sustainable management of our wonderful natural resources.’