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Bush regeneration on Council owned and managed land

Photo: Stinking Cryptocarya (V) growing in  Swamp Oak Forest EEC at the Brunswick Heads Boat Ramp.

Photo: Stinking Cryptocarya (V) growing in Swamp Oak Forest EEC at the Brunswick Heads Boat Ramp.

Background

Byron Shire Council has identified bush regeneration on Council land as a high priority action in the Byron Biodiversity Conservation Strategy 2004 and subsequent biodiversity and environmental levy works programs.

The environmental levy funds three permanent part-time (30 hours per week) positions: a Bush Regeneration Supervisor, Bush Regenerator and Bush Regenerator (Indigenous). A small operational budget of $5,000 is also allocated from the environmental levy to provide tools, plants, mulch and other materials.

Prioritisation of works

Sites included in the current work program were determined through a prioritisation process that incorporated consideration of ecological values and community significance.  Many of these sites have progressed to maintenance phase and the works program is expected to be reviewed within the next twelve months.

It is anticipated that this review will take into account the results of the Bush Futures audit which has provided significant additional information with regard to site values, threats, works undertaken through the Bush Futures project and relative importance with regard to the overall bushland areas of the Shire. 

Photo: Pencil Cedars regenerating prolifically after lantana removal at Coopers Creek Crossing Huonbrook.

Photo: Pencil Cedars regenerating prolifically after lantana removal at Coopers Creek Crossing Huonbrook.

 

Photo: Pink Nodding Orchids (V) growing in area freed from bitou bush.

Photo: Pink Nodding Orchids (V) growing in area freed from bitou bush.

Ecological outcomes

The Bush Regeneration Team delivers significant ecological outcomes addressing threatening processes to conservation values including threatened fauna, flora and endangered ecological communities.  All sites included in the current works program contain areas of high conservation value vegetation, 65% provide habitat for threatened species and/or endangered ecological communities, and 79% occur in identified wildlife corridors. 

Most of the bush regeneration team’s work program focuses on weed control. More than 160 environmental weed species have been identified at project sites, including Weeds of National Significance such as Bitou Bush and Lantana.  The team also targets weeds identified at a regional and state level as key threats to the survival of endangered ecological communities. These weeds include Morning Glory, Madeira vine, Cat’s Claw Creeper, Winter Senna, Ochna, and Camphor Laurel.

Detailed reports of the ecological outcomes achieved by the team are available below:

The Bush Futures audit of bushland health has reported that 100% of the 350 hectares of Council managed bushland is affected by threats including weeds, dumping and encroachment.  The team currently provides Council’s key capacity to address these issues.

Photo: Restoration planting at Mullumimby Recreation Grounds, Manns Road.

Photo: Restoration planting at Mullumimby Recreation Grounds, Manns Road.

Community engagement and support

The team currently have commitment to support and engagement of the community through the inclusion of sites where volunteers are currently active on Council land to their works program.  The team work collaboratively with community volunteers on a range of sites including high priority and high profile sites.

The work of the team provides positive community benefits through:

  • The commitment of Council to improving ecological values of public lands;
  • Significant community engagement and support outcomes including direct support of community regeneration projects;
  • Establishment of networks with relevant community, industry and agency stakeholders;
  • Capacity to contribute to cross tenure projects with other land managers in the region; and
  • Development of community capacity in bush regeneration through delivery of community training sessions, coordination of works program with contractors, community groups and engagement of casual staff

Other services

The bush regeneration team currently contribute significantly to the management of public lands through delivery of bush regeneration services on 28 Council owned and managed sites throughout the Shire.  This includes land across all categories of Council land including road reserve, operational land, community land and Council managed Crown land. 

Council's Water and Recycling division have specifically engaged the team to address high conservation value vegetation areas in capital and operational phases of sewerage treatment plant operation at Ocean Shores, West Byron and Vallances Road.  The team also provide bush regeneration and technical support services to the Community Infrastructure division as required.