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Share your views on Draft Maroondah Vegetation Strategy

Published on 03 September 2019
  • Environment
  • Have your say

Council has released a draft strategy encapsulating a vision for the protection and enhancement of Maroondah’s vegetation and is keen to hear from the community.

The Draft Maroondah Vegetation Strategy, which aims to guide the immediate and long-term protection, improvement and expansion of the city’s tree canopy and natural vegetation, is available to the community for feedback until 5pm Monday 23 September 2019.

Maroondah Mayor Councillor Rob Steane said the draft strategy followed a comprehensive municipal-wide vegetation review and engagement process, including a community symposium earlier this year which attracted more than 130 people and resulted in the development of an Issues and Options Paper.

“Thanks to an overwhelming response to our ‘Living Maroondah’ symposium and great feedback on our Issues and Options paper, we have developed a draft strategy for Maroondah’s vegetation and biodiversity, which is now available for comment,” Cr Steane said.

Feedback collected at Council’s Café Consult marquee at Maroondah Festival in 2017 found residents strongly valued vegetation for ‘native plants and animals’, and in providing ‘clean air’ and ‘shade and cooling’.

Cr Steane said the Draft Maroondah Vegetation Strategy was an opportunity for Council to test that the community’s views were encapsulated in the draft Strategy.

“While significant consultation has already been undertaken, the draft Strategy enables the community to see how their views have been incorporated into the draft strategy and is a chance for us to gather further feedback before the draft is presented for formal adoption,” Cr Steane said.

Vegetation is a key characteristic of Maroondah, whether this be our 72,000 street trees, private open spaces, or the 42 bushland reserves offering residents and visitors shade, cooling and the enjoyment of wildflowers, wildlife, bushwalks and wetlands.

“Maroondah has one of the highest tree canopy cover levels of all metropolitan Melbourne councils. However, with a changing climate, a growing population, and the emergence of new state planning policies, we must take further steps to protect our existing vegetation, improve its condition, and add more into key locations so that Maroondah is more liveable,” he said.

Cr Steane said Maroondah had not been immune to the worldwide decline in biodiversity, and that the strategy proposed actions that would seek to spread more nature throughout the municipality.

“Maroondah’s residents, businesses and community organisations all play a key role in the management of our vegetation and the security of our biodiversity, be it through identifying risks and changes in the local landscape, influencing Council’s approach to planning, or volunteering time towards management of our vegetation,” Cr Steane said.

“Thank you to everyone who shared their views through our online survey, face-to-face discussions and those who attended this year’s symposium. By incorporating your views, as well as expert evidence and analysis, this strategy seeks to provide short, medium and long-term initiatives – practical vegetation management and conservation; policy and planning controls; advocacy; education and support to our community,” he said.

To read more about the Draft Maroondah Vegetation Strategy and to provide feedback visit the Your Say Maroondah project page.

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