WANNEROO Council has adopted the City’s biodiversity plan, which identifies priority areas and actions to protect biodiversity.
The final Local Biodiversity Plan 2018-19 to 2023-24, adopted by council on December 11, provides an updated approach to biodiversity protection and enhancement across the City.
It also calls attention to currently unprotected areas and vegetation types of high biodiversity significance.
The plan said there was “rapid urbanisation” in the City, resulting in loss of vegetation and threatening biodiversity.
It said land clearing caused habitat fragmentation and that 1450ha had been cleared between 2011 and 2016.
Figures showed vegetation complexes covered 29,076ha within the City in 2017, but 4122ha of that fell within approved local structure plans that would be cleared in the near future.
The plan outlines several actions to be taken within the next five years, prioritising a review of reserve classifications, investigate adding developers’ flora and fauna surveys to the City’s database and developing a community education strategy.
Mayor Tracey Roberts said the plan was vital to ensuring the future protection of the natural environment.
“By taking appropriate action the City will be able to continue to provide healthy, natural environments and liveable built environments,” she said.
“The plan received comprehensive feedback from local environmental groups as well as continued input from the City’s environmental advisory committee before being presented to council.
“This ensures we can efficiently prioritise preservation, protection and management of various vegetation complexes found throughout the City.
“Priority activities include the development of a natural area asset management plan, investigating viable provisions into future land development to limit the removal of native vegetation and working closely with our neighbouring councils to improve long term strategic environmental and biodiversity management.”
The council report said the City received six submissions during public consultation, and they were “generally supportive” of an update approach to protecting biodiversity.
Staff amended the plan to reflect issues raised in the Quinns Rocks Environmental Group submissions to reflect the extent of vegetation complexes and the protection status of ecological communities.
Visit www.wanneroo.wa.gov.au to view the plan.