Local Government held its State Conference last week, one of the major highlight for us was recognition of two of our Councilors, Peter Batten and Bev Davidson for their service to the community.
The Shire was also presented with an award recognising our biodiversity strategy in planning. The following is a report compiled by our consultant Nicole Siemon who has done extremely valuable work in the Shire towards land care and conservation,
The Shire of Chapman Valley has been working with WALGA and the City of Geraldton on the Local Biodiversity Strategy that identifies areas of bio diverse significance and makes recommendation on means to conserve them.
However, as with any Strategy its recommendations can only be realised through commitment to their implementation, and the Shire has provided leadership through its partnerships with NACC, state and federal agencies, Aboriginal claimant groups, and more than 150 private landholders to achieve in the last 5 years:
38 kilometres of rabbit proof fencing to protect threatened flora;
Rabbit, pig and fox baiting across 32,000 hectares of conservation reserves and private land;
85 hectares of weed control;
Planting over 130,000 plants;
10 hectares of direct seeding;
90 kilometres of stock fencing to protect more than 1800 hectares of high conservation value bushland;
15 kilometres of surface water management;
Seed collection to establish a seed bank for use in direct seeding projects; and
Invasive species management including removal of 4500 African boxthorns out of the dune system.
Whilst, the production of the Local Biodiversity Strategy has benefited the Shire, it must be recognised that this is a milestone award and the path forward involves considerable on-ground works and increasing community engagement to achieve the Strategyâ€™s outcomes.
A lot of angst among Perth Councils as split ups of existing areas is not easy, and the added problem of the Premier perceived to be going back on an election promise. Country Councils will no doubt be on the list in five yearsâ€™ time.
Unfortunately a large part of the region is having a very difficult time with well below required rainfall, hopefully things will improve but not looking good.