Natural Environment and Biodiversity Policy

Aspirations:

To see the natural environment of Kiama LGA protected, enjoyed and respected by the community and visitors to the area.

To see protection of biodiversity a fundamental part of all appropriate council policies.

To see the biodiversity of the area actively enhanced through re-vegetation of key areas such as stream banks, weed management, development of new wildlife corridors and proper respect for environmental controls.

Kiama Greens recognise that:

  • the biodiversity of the LGA is special, containing some of the best areas of the original Illawarra Brush rainforest, endangered ecological communities such as the Swamp Mahogany-Paperbark Forest at Gerroa, wetlands, coastal dunes, escarpment forests and the endangered plant species such as zieria granulata which is only found in the Kiama area;
  • there is an ever increasing threat to this biodiversity from urban expansion, pollution, destructive clearing, poor water quality management, weed infestation, excessive use of pesticides and other chemicals, plastics and a lack of knowledge of the value of biodiversity;
  • protecting the biodiversity of the area for its own intrinsic value is an important objective for all the community and for Council policies and actions in particular;
  • protecting and enhancing the biodiversity of the area has value for community health, community recreation, the local economy through tourism, water quality and other things; and
  • recent changes to environmental and planning legislation have actually reduced the protection afforded to local biodiversity.
  • significant areas of important biodiversity value exist on crown land under Kiama Council’s control.
  • urban vegetation makes an important contribution to the biodiversity of the Kiama LGA.
  • Objective 13 of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041 is to increase urban tree cover
  • NSW generates more than 800,000 tonnes of plastics every year, with only 10% being recycled. We recognise plastic’s impact on our natural environment and human health.

Kiama Greens will work to:

  • Ensure that Kiama Council incorporates the protection of biodiversity in all possible policies and actions.
  • Review the Kiama Biodiversity Strategy 2005 and develop a new strategy which encompasses the latest data, science, climate change predictions, legislation impacting on biodiversity and zoning objectives.
  • Investigate with other Illawarra Councils, the options for a review of the Illawarra Biodiversity Strategy, particularly following the release of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041.
  • Ensure that Kiama Council is vigilant in its monitoring of actions that may be detrimental to the biodiversity of the Kiama LGA.
  • Ensure that Kiama Council respects the community’s expressed wish that crown lands be kept as natural as possible.
  • Educate and encourage local businesses, contractors and community members to realise the ways in which they release substances into the environment affects flora and fauna and to consider alternatives where possible.
  • Link important ecological areas with green corridors to promote the movement of native fauna and improve the health of key waterways.
  • Investigate ways of discouraging the vandalism of dune vegetation along the beaches in the Municipality.
  • Facilitate education programs related to the importance of maintaining stabilised dune vegetation at a time when sea levels rise as a consequence of climate change.
  • Promote the protection of riparian vegetation along the waterways of the LGA.
  • Provide increased support for local Landcare groups engaged in weed management and vegetation planting in the LGA.
  • Ensure that Council invests more resources for weed management on Council owned and managed land.
  • Implement locally, Objective 13 of the ISRP 2041, to increase Urban Tree Cover.
  • Look for ways to improve Kiama Council’s Public Tree Management Policy and policies relating to trees on private land in the Kiama Development Control Plan.
  • Contribute towards and support an Urban Greening Strategy for Council.
  • Educate and encourage community members to plant suitable native species in their landscapes.
  • Lobby through Council for changes to reduce the use of plastics significantly faster than proposed in the NSW Government’s Plastic Action Plan.