Environmental sustainability is a key focus of the 2022/23 Draft Budget with a $6.4 million capital investment in sustainable projects.
Through extensive community consultation in 2021, it was determined the number one priority for Ballarat residents is to create an environmentally sustainable future. To achieve this goal, and to continue to invest in improvements to Ballarat’s biodiversity, the Draft Budget also includes a $495,000 operating program of environmental initiatives including delivery of commitments in the Carbon Neutrality and 100% Renewables Action Plan.
As part of the capital expenditure, $200,000 will be invested into the assessment and design of a gross pollutant trap (GPT) in the Yarrowee River. The GPT will intercept litter entering the Yarrowee River downstream of the Ballarat CBD. It will improve the water quality and support the City’s biodiversity.
City of Ballarat Councillor Belinda Coates said Council recognises the importance of supporting resilient ecosystems.
“The Yarrowee River and its tributaries are a highly valued community asset,” she said.
“Our vision is to protect, enhance and harness this river corridor, building on Council’s previous Yarrowee restoration and improvement works.”
The Draft Budget also proposes an investment of $30,000 into the development of a biodiversity policy and strategy, which will guide the planning, protection, engagement and restoration of biodiversity.
Also included under the biodiversity umbrella will be $20,000 towards a Nature Stewards Program. The 10-week environmental education program will be aimed at adults and will focus on Victorian and local ecosystems.
Cr Coates said it’s important the City of Ballarat continues to play a leadership role in maintaining Ballarat’s natural assets.
“As Council we play a key role in protecting the health of our natural environment, but we cannot do this alone. We will continue to engage the passion, skills and knowledge of our community and stakeholders,” she said.
“As stewardships of this natural environment, our aim is to create a place where animals and plants not only inhabit but flourish.”
Ballarat residents can view the City of Ballarat’s Draft Budget 2022/23 and explore consultation and submission details at mysay.ballarat.vic.gov.au.
Printed copies of the Draft Budget can be found at Customer Service and Ballarat Information Centre.
The Draft Budget will be open for consultation until Friday 20 May at 5pm.