With more than 700 hectares of public open space, the City of Greater Dandenong is home to several creeks, floodplains and sandhills and a high number of rare or threatened plants and animals.
The draft plan outlines key objectives that work towards a greener city that places a value on its natural assets, protects existing levels of biodiversity and works hard to enhance biodiversity levels for the future.
More than 300 community members engaged in the initial consultation for the plan through a range of workshops and surveys.
Mayor Angela Long said sentiments from the responses showed the community is committed to protecting biodiversity.
“Feedback shows our community sees biodiversity as a crucial part of our neighbourhood and wellbeing, and residents want to ensure future generations are able to enjoy experiences in the great outdoors for many years to come,” Cr Long said.
“Our landscape is unique, with many beautiful open spaces and parklands. However, we have a very low canopy cover and more than 150 rare or threatened flora and fauna. We declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency last year, and this plan is one of the many initiatives to take action and ensure a better future for all.”
Key priorities of the draft plan include increasing community education and awareness, more support for community environment groups, strategies to improve landscape scale and ecosystem connectivity, and improved control of pest plants and animals.
Having a biodiverse environment is important to help create a healthy community. The healthier and more diverse each ecosystem or environment is, the more it can withstand the pressures of climate change and pollution.
Biodiversity can be achieved not only through action on public parklands and native bushland reserves, but also on suburban nature strips and in private back yards.
Council’s draft Biodiversity Action Plan is now available to review and provide feedback.