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Urban Biodiversity Strategy 2013 2023

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Urban Biodiversity Strategy 2013 - 2023

Draft for consultation, March 2013

Table of contents

Executive Summary 4

Introduction 6

Boroondara's local environment 8

Success stories with local partners 13

Our long term vision and guiding principles 17

Issues and challenges for local biodiversity conservation 20

Significant opportunities 23

Objectives and related strategies 25

Implementation and monitoring 27

References 29

Responsible Directorate: Environment and Infrastructure

Managing Department: Environment and Sustainable Living

Contact: Andrea Lomdahl, Senior Sustainability Officer


Phone: 9278 4889

City of Boroondara

Private Bag 1

Camberwell, VIC 3146

“the fate of biological diversity for the next 10 million years will almost certainly be determined during the next 50–100 years by the activities of a single species“.

Robert Ehrlich and Robert Pringle (2008)


The following people are gratefully acknowledged for their contribution to the development of this strategy.

Community Focus Group

Tony Stephen

Barbara Downes

Jill Lancaster

Jill Dumsday

Stanley Barker

Peter McAlpine

Beth McAlpine

Ruth McDonald

David Cummings

Ecology consultants

Lincoln Kern Practical Ecology

Janyce McMurtrie Regional Envirosense

Graeme Lorimer Biosphere Consulting

Biodiversity Working Group (Council officers)

Michaela Skett Environment and Sustainable Living

Andrea Lomdahl Environment and Sustainable Living

Nicola Hoey Environment and Sustainable Living

Mark Dornau Manager, Parks and Gardens

Brad Curtis Biodiversity Sites and Revegetation

Paul Birch Biodiversity Sites and Revegetation

Adrian Hotchin Biodiversity Sites and Revegetation

Peter Tucker Biodiversity Sites and Revegetation

Sally Speed Biodiversity Sites and Revegetation

Katerina Staikos Strategic Planning

Christine Daly Strategic Planning

Shiranthi Widan Strategic Planning

Carl Dalla Riva Statutory Planning

Adam Haines Statutory Planning

Marjorie Kennedy Statutory Planning

Greg Talbot Local Laws
Design: Johanna Villani Design

Executive Summary

While the vast majority of Boroondara's original natural vegetation was cleared to make way for farming and then urban development, there are still valuable areas of remnant vegetation and revegetated habitat along the Yarra River as well as along smaller waterways and in reserves across the municipality.

Since adoption of the City of Boroondara's first biodiversity strategy in 2003, significant progress has been made in restoring, protecting and enhancing the City's natural environment. Amongst other things, the original strategy led to development of The Inventory and Assessment of Indigenous Flora and Fauna in Boroondara by Dr Graeme Lorimer, and a Biodiversity Corridors Plan that outlines steps to improving habitat connectivity so as to establish a biodiversity corridors network across the municipality and beyond. Progressive restoration and revegetation of biodiversity sites by Council and Friends Groups has resulted in the stunning restoration of many sites and the return of birds and other fauna.

To ensure local natural habitats are protected and enhanced for future generations, Council must manage a range of complex and dynamic issues, including:

  • the ongoing need for skilled maintenance of revegetated and ecologically significant sites, and in particular, the challenge of controlling environmental weeds

  • species and ecosystem impacts as a result of a generally warmer and drier climate, and more extreme weather events, as a result of global warming

  • impacts of urban development (such as residential infill and development within or adjacent to biodiversity corridors along the Yarra) including potential loss of vegetation, habitat continuity and landscape values

  • impacts of urban development on stormwater run-off and river health (from extreme flows, pollution, litter etc)

  • wildlife disturbance or deaths caused by domestic pets (dogs and cats) and feral animals (eg. foxes).

The strategy's vision for 2023 is for ".... healthy indigenous plant communities and robust populations of native birds and other wildlife. Our biodiversity corridors and healthy waterways provide connectivity for native fauna within the municipality and beyond,... As a result of Council's strategic investment in biodiversity actions, the area of public land actively managed by Council to protect and enhance local biodiversity has increased from around 36 hectares in 2013 to 45 hectares in 2023....Our residents are active participants in biodiversity protection, enhancing local biodiversity through community projects as well as activities in their backyards, schools and on public land" (refer to p16 for the full Vision statement).

A set of eight principles have also informed the strategy's broader objectives and sub-strategies, being:

  1. The community protects what it loves.

  2. Biodiversity is worth protecting for its intrinsic value alone.

  3. Healthy ecosystems are critical to the health of the community.

  4. Biodiversity is a community asset that should be protected for future generations.

  5. Projects can be designed to deliver multiple benefits rather than single outcomes.

  6. Biodiversity protection will be balanced with other uses of our open space network.

  7. Prioritise action according to impact.

  8. Leadership by Council with the community.

This draft Urban Biodiversity Strategy (2013-2023) identifies four overarching objectives:

Objective one: To protect and enhance biodiversity in Boroondara on public land.

Objective two: To reduce land use and development impacts on biodiversity.

Objective three: To increase community support for biodiversity protection and enhancement.

Objective four: To ensure policy decision making and actions are based on sound knowledge and up- to-date evidence.

To achieve these long term objectives, Council aims to take a strategic approach to action over the next ten years. The foundation strategies focus on:

  • adopting an 'asset management' approach to biodiversity protection and enhancement − recognising natural areas are community assets needing ongoing maintenance and progressive restoration and upgrade to improve habitat connectivity. An asset lifecycle management approach provides a framework for investing resources over a long timeframe.

  • strengthening biodiversity protection through the Boroondara Planning Scheme, as the Inventory of Indigenous Flora and Fauna clearly identifies sites and natural processes that warrant greater protection from land use and development impacts.

  • engaging more residents and private land owners (eg golf clubs, schools) to become involved in biodiversity conservation (including responsible pet ownership) and 'citizen science' initiatives.

With strong implementation and monitoring for continuous improvement, the Strategy will make a significant difference to the future of biodiversity protection in Boroondara and the ongoing enjoyment that residents experience from the presence of nature so close to home.

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