East Gippsland Shire Council has released its draft Environment Sustainability Strategy 2022-2032 for community comment.
The draft strategy outlines seven anticipated outcomes and key indicators for success:
1. Growth in the circular economy
2. Sustainable management of natural resources
3. Resilience of communities to manage and respond to increasing climate risk and natural disasters
4. Conservation of the natural environment and biodiversity
5. Community participation in our climate response
6. Sustainable economic growth and new job opportunities
7. Respect and alignment with the rights of Traditional Owner groups
Mayor Cr Mark Reeves said Council recognises the importance of our natural environment because it contributes to wellbeing, amenity and biodiversity, and underpins much of the region’s economic activity, including tourism.
“Through proactive planning,relevant design work and strong advocacy, we want to ensure East Gippsland’snatural and built environment is sustainable, and meets community needs,” CrReeves said.
Development of the strategy was informed by the community consultation processes used to develop the Council Plan 2021-2025; Community Vision 2040; place plans; and Community Recovery Committee plans.
The community has placed a high value on the environment, and it is consistently identified as the number one value for people living in and visiting East Gippsland.
In addition, the community identified climate change as the top issue of concern for the coming years, topping the survey used to inform the Council Plan 2021-25 as the key challenge.
The draft strategytargets strong action on climate change and environmental sustainability by reducing Council and community carbon emissions; facilitating zero-emissionstransport (which includes electric vehicles and active transport such as cycling, walking), diverting waste from landfill to create a circular economy; and regenerating our biodiversity and waterways after the bushfires.
“Council acknowledges the seriousness of the biodiversity and climate crises and is committed to protecting the community and the ecosystems we depend on. Our wellbeing and prospects are directly linked to a healthy environment,” Cr Reeves said.
“This strategy builds on Council’s previous environment strategies, which changed the way we operate and aided our progress towards a sustainable future, but it’s time to take the next step.
“I urge everyone to view the draft and provide Council with their feedback,” Cr Reeves said.
Read the draft strategy and provide feedback at yoursay.eastgippsland.vic.gov.au. Feedback must be received by Sunday 20 February 2022.