Have your say on a roadmap for managing our natural environment

Published on 29 April 2021

Greater Glider - Gloucester Tops.jpeg

No matter what you treasure most about our natural surroundings, now’s the time to provide your feedback on MidCoast Council’s draft Biodiversity Framework – a roadmap for conserving the region’s natural heritage.

It’s no secret that the MidCoast is rich in natural treasures – from the world heritage listed rainforests of Barrington Tops National Park, to shorebirds that visit us from Alaska each year; our very own endangered turtle, stunning waterways, coastlines, forests and mountains. All of this biodiversity plays a vital role in supporting the local community’s well-being. It provides clean air and water, healthy soils, wild places, recreational opportunities, supports our economy and provides us with the lifestyles we love.

“Our community nominated the natural environment as one of five core values in our Community Strategic Plan, so it’s important we have the tools in place to manage, conserve and restore our natural heritage into the future”, explained Paul de Szell, MidCoast Council’s Director of Liveable Communities. “A plan for biodiversity is needed more than ever, with increasing pressures on our natural environment, including drought, fire and floods. This Framework establishes a roadmap for us to work collaboratively with stakeholders and the community, to protect our unique patch of Australia and the lifestyles we enjoy through nature”.

It has been developed with input from a range of stakeholders, special interest groups and the community during a consultation phase last year. In this current stage, MidCoast Council is encouraging everyone to have their say, to make sure the framework captures the vision, values, projects and actions that are most important to our community.

“Once complete, the framework will provide a consolidated approach to managing biodiversity across the MidCoast”, Paul said. “While plenty is already being done, it can be more effective if Council, community groups, landowners and individuals are all working to a consistent set of objectives, under an agreed ‘blue print’”.

The draft framework acknowledges the importance of Aboriginal custodianship and culture knowledge through practices such as cultural burning, and addresses community priorities such as supporting private land conservation, wildlife corridor strategies, education and awareness, building resilience and nature-based recreation. It will complement a suite of other plans including the Climate Change Policy, Rural and Greening Strategies, and Catchment and Estuary plans.

Input on the draft framework can be provided by taking a short on-line poll, completing a longer survey or making a submission, before the feedback period closes on Tuesday 8 June 2021.

To find out more about biodiversity in our region, view the draft Biodiversity Framework, and to have your say, visit www.haveyoursay.midcoast.nsw.gov.au

You can also attend drop-in sessions during the exhibition period to have your say in person:

  • Taree Central Shopping Centre (next to Big W), 2 – 5pm on Wednesday 5 May
  • Stocklands Forster (opposite Sanity), 2 - 5 pm on Thursday 13 May
  • Gloucester Library (Denison Street), 11am – 2pm on Thursday 20 May
  • Tea Gardens Library (Marine Drive) or riverfront (weather dependent), 11am – 2pm on Monday 24 May