Connecting, protecting and partnering to preserve our natural city

2 May 2017

A fresh strategy to protect our natural environment and recognise its significant value to our economy and lifestyle is open for community consultation.

The draft ‘Our Natural City’ Strategy (2017-2021) aims to meet a target of 51 per cent vegetation cover by 2020.

Mayor Tom Tate said the Gold Coast’s natural environment laid the foundation for our enviable lifestyle and global reputation, and the strategy reflects its significance to our economy.

Planning Committee Chair, Cr Cameron Caldwell, said: “The Gold Coast is one of the most biodiverse cities in Australia and we’ll aim to conserve this unique biodiversity as our city grows.

“Our Natural City takes our existing nature conservation efforts a step further by focusing on connecting people with nature, protecting places for nature and partnering with the community to secure and enhance our natural assets.”

Cr Caldwell said the key upshot of the strategy was the long-term protection of our natural assets and the benefits this would bring for the entire city.

“It encourages community access and use of the city’s hidden natural gems while safeguarding our beaches, wetlands, waterways, rainforests, bushland, coastal and marine environments and the wildlife these habitats support.

“It also responds to community aspirations of wanting to live in a city where people can readily and easily access and enjoy nature.”

Cr Caldwell encouraged residents to show enthusiasm for the city’s natural environment by having their say.

“Managing the environment is everyone’s responsibility. We encourage partnerships between government, businesses, research institutions, landowners and the community to protect, restore, connect and manage our natural assets on public and private land,” he said.  

Once the strategy is endorsed, the City will partner with residents to deliver 13 key priority actions. (see below)

The community is welcome to have its say from 2 to 16 May to win a Currumbin Sanctuary koala experience valued at $300. Visit gchaveyoursay.com.au/naturalcity to complete the survey. 

Summary of 13 key actions in the strategy

  1. Nature based recreational infrastructure for people to enjoy our natural city.
  2. A broad community participation program to build upon existing opportunities.
  3. Explore and support opportunities to link natural assets and our cultural identity.
  4. Community catchment health initiatives.
  5. Monitoring health and condition of natural assets.
  6. Prioritise and implement actions to improve natural asset health, quality and condition.
  7. Continue to implement the City Plan’s environmental policies.
  8. Continue to implement waterway policy.
  9. Establish and grow partnerships with private landowners, volunteer groups and government programs to increase the area of land protected, restored and connected.
  10. Implement fiscally responsible tools to enable practical, community-focussed partnerships.
  11. Build partnerships to protect key vulnerable species.
  12. Build partnerships to coordinate bushfire, pest plant and animal management in the city’s hinterland. 
  13. Investment attraction into our natural assets.

 

 

 

 

Connecting, protecting and partnering to preserve our natural city photo