Working together to protect and enhance the natural environment
Friday, 18 October, 2019 - 09:00
Environment Strategy sets a plan for a more sustainable future
‘Working together to protect and enhance the natural environment’. This is the vision stated by Mansfield Shire Council in the newly endorsed Environment Strategy.
The Mansfield Shire Environment Strategy 2019-23, endorsed by Council at its meeting last Tuesday, states Council’s position on protecting, preserving and enhancing the environment for the benefit of future generations. There is strong acknowledgement of the role of Taungurung as traditional custodians of the land and of the opportunities to work with Taungurung in the implementation of the Strategy.
The Strategy also emphasises Council role to support community led action on environmental and sustainability projects.
At the meeting Councillors acknowledged the strong community participation in the development of the Strategy. Over 180 people completed a ‘Have Your Say’ survey to establish the themes of the Strategy and further support was shown at a community workshop to develop the actions in the Strategy. Over 35 comments were received on the draft of the Strategy, including 10 from students at the Mansfield Rudolf Steiner School. The public comments were tabled in the Council meeting and were considered by Council before the Strategy was endorsed.
“Council is very pleased to endorse the Environment Strategy” said Mayor Cr Harry Westendorp.
“We commend the community for their contribution and input into the development of this important document for Council. All of the photos and artwork in the Strategy were supplied by the community. We thank the community for their generous contribution”, he said.
The strategy is themed around the following four areas:
Waste management and waste education
Water usage and waterway health
Land management and biodiversity
Sustainable development and Climate Change
Actions for Council are listed under each of these themes along with actions that community members can do as individuals and as members of community groups.
Council has committed to a number of key actions and new plans in the Strategy.
“Council will develop a Climate Change Action Plan” said Cr Westendorp.
“This follows from the Council resolution in May 2019 that states that climate change is a real threat to our community’s way of life. Our community must take action on climate change and Council’s role is to both to take action and support community led action.”
Waste management was another area where there was a strong call for Council action.
“Council has committed to develop a Waste Management Strategy and to engage the community about options for green-waste and compost. I look forward to this work occurring in coming years” said Cr Westendorp.
All projects in the Environment Strategy will be subject to Council’s regular budget process and Council acknowledges that grants and external funding opportunities must be sought to successfully implement the Strategy.
For more information on any of the above, please contact Council's Environment Officer, Damien Gerrans, on 5775 8555.