All systems go for improving biodiversity in Byron Shire

With the ink barely dry on the Local Government NSW Award that Council won last week for its Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2020-2030, it’s full steam ahead for the staff who are implementing it.

Council’s Biodiversity Officer, Liz Caddick, said the hard work of staff and Council’s Biodiversity Panel, chaired by Cr Sarah Ndiaye, is already being seen.

“It’s terrific for the Panel to see things happening so fast because its members worked very hard on making sure that the strategy was not just a great document, but that it would actually be able to be implemented,” Ms Caddick said.

“It’s a huge honour to receive this award,” Cr Sarah Ndiaye, Chair of Council’s Biodiversity Panel, said.

“The biodiversity in this region is what makes it such a wonderful place to be and we need to do what we can to support it.

“The panel approached this a little differently and we were lucky to have so many highly skilled experts willing to contribute and help shape the strategy.

“It recognises the incredible work being done by so many, but also provides a pathway to a better future,” Cr Ndiaye said.

With a focus on working with the community staff have identified approximately 15 hectares of sites on private land that are suitable for koala habitat planting and restoration.

“One of the key elements of the strategy is to make sure we conserve biodiversity across the landscape, not just isolated sites that are managed by Council, and we are fortunate to have some land owners who are keen to work with us to protect and enhance the biodiversity on their properties,” Ms Caddick said.

“We are also putting a lot of effort into public education through social media, promoting messages relating to dogs around wildlife, nesting shorebirds, rescuing koalas, the illegal dumping of green waste and wildlife-friendly fencing.

“Our residents are realising how committed Council is to protecting our native animals and plants and we responded to 80 public enquiries in the July-September quarter,” she said.

Council’s Development Control Plan is also being updated to include a Biodiversity, Vegetation and Habitat Management chapter which is currently on public exhibition.

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