Protecting the Toowoomba Region’s natural landscape and wildlife was strengthened this month with Council adopting a raft of changes to the Natural Resource Management (NRM) Levy.
To reflect the change in direction, TRC Environment and Community portfolio leader Cr Tim McMahon said the levy would be renamed as the Biosecurity and Bushland Conservation Levy.
“This is an important source of funding which allows us to manage areas such as invasive plants and animals (weeds and pests), Bushland Conservation (including fire management and rehabilitation) and the co-ordination with Landcare and ParkCare groups and similar bodies,” Cr McMahon said.
“We understand how important this is and in recent years undertook a review to ensure we were making the best use of this money. The review has been incredibly useful and identified potential improvements.”
As part of the improvements recommended, a Service Delivery Plan will be implemented over the next four years with a strong focus on key programs including:
- updating Biosecurity Mapping and Reporting
- upgrading weed spray units
- upgrading existing fire units
- improving ongoing programs
- increasing education and promotional activities for biosecurity
- supporting Biosecurity Programs on Bushland Reserves
- supporting Community Bushland Conservation Programs
- supporting Bushland Regeneration Programs
- supporting Bushland Conservation
- supporting Establishment of Indigenous Cultural Land Management Partnerships.
“I’m pleased with the direction we’re taking and there are some exciting programs we’re investing in over the next four years,” Cr McMahon said.
“As part of our support to the community we will provide funding support to Community Bushland Conservation Programs such as ‘Land for Wildlife’ and ‘Friends’ Groups.
“We will also be developing and supporting the establishment of partnerships with local Indigenous corporations with the aim of having Indigenous persons working ‘on country’.”
The changes under the Biosecurity and Bushland Conservation Levy are set to be introduced in the 2021/22 financial year.