Caring for our environment is one of Ipswich City Council's key strategic goals.

Over the coming months we will be reviewing and updating our vision and goals for Ipswich's natural environment.

The first step is the development of a new strategic policy to be adopted by Council.

You can provide input and help shape the draft policy by completing the survey below.

Council has never had a policy that sets the city’s overarching position and direction for the natural environment.

There are a number of key strategic documents, related to Council’s environmental priorities, due for review in coming months.

These reviews will greatly benefit if there is a Council policy position in place that has been informed by community needs and expectations regarding the natural environment.

A policy sets out Council’s overarching position, viewpoints or values on matters that impact or are a concern to the community.

It is a high-level document that Councillors and Council staff must abide by when making decisions and setting priorities for the city.

The Natural Environment Policy will set Council’s position and direction for the natural environment. It will also set the direction for other key strategic documents related to the environment. As these documents are reviewed in coming months, they will align with the new Natural Environment Policy.

It’s important because the policy and related procedures and strategies set priorities for how council manages its resources, creates and delivers programs, and spends its budget.

The natural environment is a collective term to describe the diverse network of land and water areas in a comparatively natural state that provide habitat for native animals and plants. It includes values such as:

  • Habitat and populations of threatened species;
  • Core habitat areas as home for a diverse range of wildlife;
  • Nodes of remnant vegetation in urban areas providing wildlife refuge;
  • Strategic remnants vegetation patches as stepping stones for wildlife movement;
  • Corridors providing connectivity for wildlife across the landscape;
  • Increase vegetation condition and animal abundance within core habitat areas;
  • Biological diversity, natural capital and ecosystem services;
  • Waterways, wetlands, riparian and aquatic ecosystems and floodplains;
  • Cultural Landscape Features;
  • Scenic amenity.

Ipswich has one of the most diverse ranges of natural vegetation types in South East Queensland, being home to a large number of native flora and fauna and over 2,000 recorded species of native plants and animals.

As well as biological values, the natural environment also enhances land values, attracts tourists, provides recreational opportunities, improves community health, increases economic development and enables continued cultural and spiritual connection by the Traditional Owner community.

Council has a solid background of protecting, managing and enhancing the natural environment through mechanisms such as Ipswich Enviroplan and Ipswich Planning Scheme. Through these initiatives, more than 23 per cent of the city is being managed with environmental outcomes in mind.

This Natural Environment Policy will build on decades of work to protect and improve our important environmental assets.