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 commenting 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.

Now we need to hear from you

A Discussion Paper that contains the draft policy statements and principles was developed through analysis and consideration of:

  • Survey and interview responses from the public and stakeholders
  • Collaboration with council employees and elected representatives
  • Council strategies and commitments
  • Other SEQ Council strategic approaches
  • National environmental goals

You can help shape the policy by providing feedback on the policy focus areas listed below.

Focus area 1

BIODIVERSITY & THREATENED SPECIES RECOVERY

  • Identify, protect, maintain & rehabilitate priority natural environment values of the city.
  • Protect and improve habitat value within large areas of intact threatened species and priority wildlife habitat, including koalas.
  • Enhance and protect key habitat corridors to maintain or increase regional and local connectivity for threatened species and priority wildlife.
  • Understand, identify and reduce the impact of threats to threatened species and priority wildlife, including koalas.
  • Gather data, prioritise, plan and support other government initiatives for threatened species and priority wildlife, including locally significant wildlife.
  • Further incorporate natural value importance into council’s planning activities and general business operations.
  • Implement sustainable land-use planning practices that concentrates urban development within the urban footprint in a compact development form as a desirable outcome, relative to meeting the need for housing, employment and other facilities and services for the city’s growing community.
  • Develop and implement regulatory (e.g. local laws) and non-regulatory (e.g. incentives) tools that supports natural environment outcomes on public and private land.
  • Seek an approach whereby negative impacts are first avoided, minimised or mitigated before any remaining impacts are offset.

What could improve Council's goals in Biodiversity & Threatened Species Recovery?

31 March, 2021

Elle63 says:

“Implement some citizen science programs & fund groups to conduct the surveys. Eg Platypus Watch, drone surveys of koala habitat to collect d”

31 March, 2021

daveman says:

“More north-south corridors from the Brisbane River to White Rock Reserve to link to the Flinders-Karawatha corridor (Woogaroo / 6-Mile Ck)”

27 March, 2021

chad_hayes says:

“Changes to the planning act to reduce approvals of high density living . All trees are cleared with these developments. Destroys the area.”

24 March, 2021

T_Smith says:

“Consider the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail as a linear conservation corridor-regrowth/remnant vegetation patches stepping stones for wildlife. ”

24 March, 2021

job_a says:

“Less talk about wanting to do the right thing by the environment and more action to protect and preserve what little we have left. ”

15 March, 2021

JW9 says:

“Community education on biodiversity corridors and their conservation”

13 March, 2021

gavin_dale says:

“Ensuring connectivity of habitats across council boundaries into other council areas. Maintain natural area status quo.”

11 March, 2021

Don says:

“Ban all clearance of native trees unless they are dangerous. Organise communities to remove exotic weeds and pests, and to plant natives.”

10 March, 2021

Nicky says:

“Begin a comprehensive education piece on keeping cats inside. Whilst its law, people don't pay attention”

9 March, 2021

OikosPermaculture says:

“Diversity of natives in new estates, education & incentives to rate payers to increase native flora & fauna & permaculture practices at home”

9 March, 2021

FrithB says:

“Agree with above, also need residential streets and parks filled with native trees/shrubs - for people and fauna - no more clearing!”

8 March, 2021

Harjay says:

“Restrict predatory pets in and around nature reserves. Install nesting boxes. Increase local knowledge of valued species and their habitats”

Focus area 2

WETLANDS & WATERWAYS IMPROVEMENT

  • Protect, rehabilitate and maintain wetlands and waterways, including their associated corridors, for the benefit of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife, community liveability and continuation of traditional cultural practices.
  • Invest in waterway recovery projects at priority sites targeting improved in-stream habitat condition, aquatic connectivity and riparian weed management and revegetation.
  • Monitor aquatic communities and connectivity of the region’s waterways to quantify threats, as well as measure the outcomes of remediation activities.
  • Identify and address key sources of sediment which impact aquatic communities through poor water quality and degraded stream morphology.
  • Improve streambank stabilisation at strategic locations supporting habitat conditions for priority wildlife, including platypus.
  • Increase community education and awareness of key issues impacting aquatic biodiversity to encourage behavioural change and stewardship of the city’s waterways and wetlands.

What could improve Council's goals in Wetlands & Waterways Improvement?

31 March, 2021

daveman says:

“Riparian corridors need to be wider than current plans - 50-100m each side rather than 30m, otherwise won't be sustainable - easily impacted”

15 March, 2021

JW9 says:

“Increase penalities for pollution”

13 March, 2021

gavin_dale says:

“Good flood mitigation is achieved through use of natural vegetation and proper hydrology practices. Need to slow down the water in waterways”

10 March, 2021

Nicky says:

“Prevent sediment run off from unsealed driveways. ”

8 March, 2021

Harjay says:

“Working with 4WDers to prevent or offset erosion damage. Managing waterway weeds and planting preferred sp. ”

8 March, 2021

Benooch says:

“Small Creek was a great project, i think we need to do more of these projects in urban areas, dont bury creeks, slow the water, lots of reed”

8 March, 2021

Ltp says:

“Create a feature waterhole for wetland birds at limestone/queens park”

Focus area 3

URBAN BIODIVERSITY ENHANCEMENT

  • Catalogue, conserve and enhance urban biodiversity values and the ecological systems that support them.
  • Create and enhance corridors in urban areas to provide connectivity and refuge for wildlife and ecosystem services functions.

What could improve Council's goals in Urban Biodiversity Enhancement?

31 March, 2021

daveman says:

“Information stations along urban walks with QR codes for fauna sights and sounds and Virtual Reality history.”

14 March, 2021

JimPrentice says:

“Recognise and assist the role of native bees in our environment . Declare Cadagi a weed. Our mental and physical health depends on nature ”

13 March, 2021

gavin_dale says:

“Having wildlife corridors also improves the streetscape with housing separated creating a lesser impact from heat islands.”

10 March, 2021

Nicky says:

“Infill open grasslands around the city with trees. It will cut mowing costs & provide habitat. ”

8 March, 2021

Harjay says:

“Reduce car speed in corridors, install overhead access for gliders. Plant suitable street trees and prioritise use of local native species.”

8 March, 2021

Benooch says:

“Love to see more local natives, host plants for butterfly's, bird attracting plants”

8 March, 2021

Ltp says:

“Get more serious about indian miner and cane toad management...also, educate public on what can be done...”

Focus area 4

NATURAL AREA RESTORATION & PROTECTION

  • Invest in strategic restoration activities to re-establish corridor linkages through the landscape, including using offsets or partnerships programs.
  • Implement sound environmental management principles* on Council owned or managed land, focusing on long term protection, practical actions with foreseeable outcomes.
  • Manage protected natural areas and partner with private landholders in core habitat areas to provide refuge for native plants and animals from the impacts of changing climate.

What could improve Council's goals in Natural Area Restoration & Protection?

24 March, 2021

T_Smith says:

“Consider the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail as a corridor providing connectivity for wildlife across the landscape-Pine Mtn dryvine scrub etc.”

13 March, 2021

gavin_dale says:

“Ensure the corridor linkages line up with corridor linkages in neighbouring councils. Increase bushcare programs in the council area.”

8 March, 2021

Harjay says:

“Long range planned recurring planting schedules to replace tree loss and offer range of tree maturity over time. Promote native sp gardens”

8 March, 2021

Benooch says:

“Strong goals, plans, regeneration/revegetation by skilled teams scheduled in and daily work report sheets. ”

8 March, 2021

Ltp says:

“Incentivise, educate and advertise further for more people to plant natives in their yard and on front nature strips”

Focus area 5

EXPERIENCING NATURE

  • Support Traditional owners with maintaining connection to cultural lands and sites.
  • Encourage community to connect with nature to foster a conservation ethic and develop environmental stewards.
  • Promote and provide for sustainable outdoor/nature-based recreational activities, environmental education and eco-tourism opportunities within natural areas, recognising the significant community benefit these areas provide.
  • Invest in infrastructure and management activities that supports sustainable provision of nature experiences.
  • Provide, plan, develop, manage, maintain and activate high quality sustainable outdoor/nature-based recreation opportunities in natural areas.
  • Assess the need for the provision of outdoor/nature-based recreation activities based on demand and the identification of suitable sites to ensure a sustainable fit between natural values and outdoor/nature-based recreation activities.
  • Provide, manage and maintain outdoor/nature-based recreation activities, facilities and settings that are complementary to and protect the natural values of the settings within which they are positioned.

What could improve Council's goals in Experiencing Nature?

27 March, 2021

JimPrentice says:

“there are some really lovely examples of verge plantings eg Rotherdam but we have unclear rules need Council advice/help plus community good”

27 March, 2021

JimPrentice says:

“Create a from Ipswich to Oxley Common and include walking tracks ”

13 March, 2021

gavin_dale says:

“Increase bushcare and indigenous education programs showing the importance of the natural environment.”

10 March, 2021

Nicky says:

“When developing new suburbs (along Centenary Hwy in particular) maintain the bush buffer. So much bio diversity along that road”

10 March, 2021

Nicky says:

“When upgrading roads or constructing new ones include bike ways. ”

8 March, 2021

Harjay says:

“Longer opening hours in existing parks. Improve access roads & parking options. Manage loos & trash well. Complete Ips/Boonah trail. ”

8 March, 2021

Ltp says:

“Make denmark hill a less dodgy place with greater eg. Police prescence”

Focus area 6

COMMUNITY AWARENESS & SUPPORT

  • Embrace opportunities to partner with Indigenous Land Management Businesses, government agencies, universities, research organisations, regional bodies and other local governments on collaborative projects.
  • Work closely with the community through collaboration, partnerships and support programs that empower and build capacity as environmental stewards.
  • Support community contribution of information through citizen science programs.
  • Increase recognition within the community and council of natural environment ecosystem services as well as Cultural Heritage and Cultural Landscape values.

What could improve Council's goals in Community Awareness & Support?

13 March, 2021

gavin_dale says:

“Approach community organisations with the view to get them involved in programs, like bushwalking clubs maintaining the tracks and trails.”

8 March, 2021

Harjay says:

“<3 ”

8 March, 2021

Ltp says:

“Free workshops to public on natives and wildlife support in backyards...also recycling and waste minimisation etc.”

Focus area 7

GOVERNANCE, MEASURING & REPORTING

  • Implement outcome based, priority driven and adaptive investment of council funds, including Ipswich Enviroplan Levy, general revenue and external grants.
  • Comply with relevant statutory responsibilities, legislation, policy & plans, while pursuing new approaches, continual improvement, environmental excellence and demonstrating leadership in operations and activities.
  • Identify, collect, monitor, review, and report about natural values and environmental performance.
  • Operate programs and undertake priorities driven by best available knowledge and data, cross-referenced with community interest and capability to ensure confidence in achieving outcomes.

What could improve Council's goals in Governance, Measuring & Reporting?

13 March, 2021

gavin_dale says:

“This policy should be the framework upon which development decisions can be made properly balanced with the evidence from improvements, etc.”

10 March, 2021

Nicky says:

“Provide to the community audit results. Show improvements from baseline data - do we have baseline data?”

8 March, 2021

JGC says:

“Regular weed control to better maintain the corridors providing connectivity for wildlife across the landscape”

8 March, 2021

Ltp says:

“Waste reduction, reuse and better recycling...make e.g glass recycling easier again.”

2 March, 2021

Micky says:

“All Community groups (including charities) must be audited every year”