Ipswich City Council released a report on its ratepayer funded environmental protection initiative last month – with hazard reduction receiving greater focus.
The City of Ipswich Enviroplan Program and Levy Progress Report 2022-2023, released on January 5, outlines recent progress in the Council’s Enviroplan program.
According to the annual report, the Council spent nearly $4 million during the 2022-2023 financial year, addressing conservation land acquisition, planning and environmental management, and community partnerships across Ipswich, including Springfield.
These matters dovetail with the Council’s environmental policy, specifically the Natural Environment Strategy, adopted in late 2022.
A highlight of the report was an increase in hazard mitigation and fuel reduction, in anticipation of the early and high-risk bushfire season.
Currently, the Enviroplan portfolio includes more than 6,700 hectares of conservation land.
White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate is one of the biggest beneficiaries.
The estate received a hazard reduction burn across 45.5 hectares, completed last March.
Also made possible through the program were resources for public awareness and enforcement, supporting the 111,560 recreational visits during the year.
Established in 1996, Enviroplan is funded through the new Enviroplan Levy, paid through household rates since 2022 – one of the first environmental levies in Australia.
Division 4 Councillor Russell Milligan, who serves as chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee, commented on the report’s release.
“Spanning more than 6,700 hectares of conservation land, the Ipswich Enviroplan portfolio reported a total spend of $3.9 million in 2022-2023,” Cr Milligan said.
“The community and council have worked together to implement the Enviroplan Program and deliver against the newly adopted Natural Environment Strategy, creating a strong partnership.
“We also prioritised landowner conservation partnership, including a landholder support day, to provide education and advice for property owners on how best to care for their natural environment.
“Our city’s urban biodiversity is crucial to the overall wellbeing of our residents, our rivers, reserves, and native wildlife – and Council is proud to champion our natural environment.”
Through the Enviroplan, Council has previously restored formerly cleared locations such as the popular Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve and Haig Street Quarry Bushland Reserve.
The full report is available on the Ipswich City Council website. Visit ipswich.qld.gov.au and search “Enviroplan Levy” or click here.
For more information about the Natural Environment Strategy, visit shapeyouripswich.com.au/naturalenvironmentstrategy.
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