Environmental sustainability in Cardinia Shire
Our unique approach to environmental policy
- Traditionally, environmental policy at local government level is developed in isolation from other local government policies, plans and strategies. We are taking a more global view by recognising that our unique natural environment influences our communities in many ways, building a sense of place and belonging, contributing to our economic development, and affecting our health and wellbeing.
- Similarly, we recognise that our actions, and those of the community, have an influence on our environment. We want to make that influence as positive as possible. For this reason, our environmental policies have been developed to demonstrate our commitment to protecting and enhancing our natural environment so that we may continue to enjoy this wonderful place to live and work, and that those who come after us have the same opportunities.
In September of 2019, a climate emergency was declared across Cardinia Shire Council.
Our Sustainable Environment Policy
The policy focuses on the areas of:
- climate change
- We adopted the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy in 2019 following extensive community consultation.
- The strategy aims to guide long-term strategic direction and efforts to preserve the natural habitats and wide variety of plant and animal life within Cardinia Shire.
- It also provides a framework for both private and public land managers, and identifies key opportunities for council to work in partnership with the community to protect the natural environment from a variety of issues.
- We adopted the Biolink Plan in 2021, following extensive consultation with the community and key agency stakeholders (such as CFA).
- The plan aims to retain and enhance biodiversity in Cardinia Shire, and influence the broader region, by protecting and creating biolink corridors across the landscape and along our waterways. The plan highlights the need for Council, community and other key stakeholders to work together to protect and enhance the biodiversity in the shire.
Mapping of the shire’s biodiversity was undertaken in 2019 and has helped Council to identify 66 ‘nodes’ critical to supporting biodiversity. Consultation with government agencies and the community has influenced the 122 corridors that link these nodes in the Biolink Plan.
Weed Management Strategy
- We adopted the Weed Management Strategy in 2019, following extensive community consultation.
- The strategy aims to reduce weed infestations across Cardinia Shire, which threaten agriculture, human health and the environment including bushland areas, roadsides and waterways.
- It emphasises that Council, community and organisations must work collectively to manage weeds across all land regardless of ownership.
- Cardinia Shire has over 400 species of weeds, 36 declared as noxious weed species under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, and 8 are weeds of national significance.
The Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2022-33 has been adopted.
Climate change-induced natural hazards are increasing both in magnitude and frequency. This is having adverse effects on our ecosystems, human health and economy.
We are dedicated to helping the community adapt to these climate change challenges.
The strategy will:
- provide the guiding pathways to reduce our Shire’s vulnerability to adverse impacts of climate hazard events
- promote the resilience of social, ecological and economic systems
- guide our ‘adaptation planning’, embedding adaptive measures into council operations and processes
- recommend actions for the community to reduce their vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.
We adopted the Aspirational Energy Transition Plan in 2014. This plan has the aspirational target of achieving zero net emissions for Council operations and a 36% reduction in community emissions on a per capita basis by 2024.
It outlines the processes and procedures that will be used to ensure that we continue to design, build and operate Council buildings in an environmentally sustainable way.
We adopted the Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy in 2017. This strategy is a roadmap for the future direction and actions of Council’s waste and resource recovery services, waste related education and advocacy activities.
We adopted the Integrated Water Management Plan in 2015. The plan aims to deliver a framework that will guide Council towards a more sustainable integrated approach to water management over a 10-year period.