Go ahead for MidCoast Greening Strategy

Published on 28 February 2019

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Strategically increasing the quality and quantity of vegetation across the region will be the aim of a greening strategy to be undertaken by MidCoast Council.

This week’s Council meeting unanimously endorsed a recommendation to prepare a greening strategy, with a further report to be presented by June outlining a scope and timeline for the production of a strategy.

The strategy will look at where vegetation controls will be harmonised across the region and how native vegetation will be protected, according to Council’s Acting Director of Planning and Natural Systems, Paul De Szell.

Currently there are tree protection controls in parts of Great Lakes, but no controls in place across the rest of the MidCoast Council area.

Council had, in September last year, resolved to amend the Great Lakes Development Control Plan to remove all tree and vegetation controls and hold a workshop to discuss the introduction of a register to protect significant trees.

Following this Council received a significant amount of correspondence from the community, including environmental groups, expressing their concern with the position.

“Since that time a number of workshops have been held with staff and Councillors to discuss principles and concepts around tree protection controls and how best to protect vegetation across the local government area,” Mr De Szell said.

As a result of these discussions, a recommendation was put to this week’s Council meeting that a greening strategy be undertaken.

“A greening strategy is about strategically increasing the quality and quantity of all vegetation and open space in a particular setting.”

Mr De Szell said a greening strategy requires significant thought given Council manages public spaces, street trees, road reserves, parks and natural areas.

“Forward-thinking councils across Australia are measuring the condition, diversity and extent of greening, setting targets and working towards improving vegetation in their areas.

“They are doing this because there is strong evidence that well managed trees and vegetation cost-effectively improve the quality, liveability and performance of all landscapes.”

As part of the strategy a framework will be prepared to understand the issues and opportunities for trees and vegetation across the area.

Community engagement will be a critical part of developing a greening strategy.

“Once we have scoped the strategy we will develop a community engagement plan, which will be adopted by Council, to ensure the views and aspirations of our community are taken into account in the preparation of the strategy.”