Strategic plans endorsed to manage water and weeds
Two strategic plans adopted by Blue Mountains City Council this week will help secure the health of our local environment into the future.
Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill thanked everyone who participated in community consultations to help develop the Water Sensitive Blue Mountains Strategic Plan and the Weed Management Strategic Plan 2019.
“As a city in a World Heritage Area, caring for our precious water resources and natural environment is crucial to our future health and success, and everyone has a role to play,” Cr Greenhill said.
“Our beautiful waterways sustain a unique diversity of animals and plants, feed into vital water supplies, and are a key feature of our lifestyle and visitor economy.”
The Water Sensitive Blue Mountains Strategic Plan was drafted in collaboration with WaterNSW and the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, and updated in response to 38 submissions received during the public exhibition period in 2018.
It sets out the best-practice approaches and design principles Council will follow to manage our city’s waterways and water resources, focusing on water efficiency, water harvesting and reuse, stormwater management and community education.
This will build on work we have already done, including: catchment management programs that are managing stormwater impacts and improving waterway health at over 130 sites across the city regular water quality monitoring at over 40 sites our Conservation Volunteers Program which supports over 500 volunteers, contributing 10,000 hours a year, and our community education program, which engaged over 1,200 children from 25 schools last financial year.
The Weed Management Strategic Plan 2019 replaces our 2010 plan, taking into account significant policy and legislative changes in relation to weed control including changes to the role of councils and landowners under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015. Cr Greenhill said that weeds continue to pose a significant threat to the biodiversity, economy and liveability of our city.
We know that despite considerable investment by all levels of government, it is not possible to eradicate all weeds from the Blue Mountains.
“Council’s weed management programs reflect a long-term, strategic approach that protects key assets and involves cooperation with all landowners to achieve high level, sustainable weed control,” he said. Weeds are everybody’s responsibility, and community awareness and involvement are essential to this plan’s success.