The natural environment of the Yarra Ranges is unique, highly valued by our community and central to the character of the region. This is why Council is asking for your input into our Draft Nature Plan 2022-2032 - Protecting our Biodiversity Assets.

Add your voice to the conversation about how we can protect and enhance our environment and let us know if we have the right plan, actions and targets for the next 10 years.

While Council only has direct responsibility for a small portion of our total landscape, our role in sharing knowledge with others including other levels of Government and supporting our community to do their part for biodiversity is equally important. In fact, in many ways, our community is leading the way and our committed environmental volunteers and community champions will be an integral part of this ongoing work.

We look forward to hearing from you on the Draft Nature Plan, and working with our community, groups and volunteers to make our natural environment the best it can be for decades to come.

Nature: described as plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria along with the communities and ecosystems which they are part of and the ecological processes they sustain; which is often described as Biodiversity.

Biodiversity: ‘bio’ meaning life and ‘diversity’ meaning variability. The variety of all living things, their genetic information and the ecosystems they form.

Native vegetation: Plants (including trees, shrubs, herbs, and grasses) that are considered indigenous to a particular site or locality. A plant may be native to Australia, but not locally indigenous.

Indigenous flora or indigenous fauna: Plants or animals that occur naturally in the local area (or prescribed geographic area) are considered indigenous.

Bushland reserve: Council-owned reserves containing native or indigenous flora and fauna. Vegetation is usually remnant and has never been cleared, although some bushland reserves have arisen from revegetation using indigenous species.

Biolink: a corridor of natural or created habitat that connects pockets of native vegetation. Often in the context of otherwise modified landscapes, such as those previously cleared for agricultural or urban development. Habitat corridors attract wildlife and act as safe passages for wildlife between neighbouring natural areas, along with increasing potential for genetic diversity in breeding populations.

Today, between one quarter and one third of Victoria’s plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals, along with numerous invertebrates and ecological communities, are considered threatened with extinction.

Council has a broad role to play in the management of the natural environment, along with supporting community to increase their environmental stewardship and building resilience against a changing climate.

Significant investment currently occurs in natural resource management through weed control programs, incentive programs for private land, undertaking statutory functions as required by the planning scheme and education of, and partnership with community volunteers focussed on environmental protection.

This plan identifies other key actions. Many of these are listed as 'seeking investment'. This means that council currently does not have an allocated budget to deliver on this action. In many cases, there are opportunities for council to seek funding from external sources (like the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning; Melbourne Water, or philanthropic organisations). Funding can also be sought through councils annual budget bidding process.

  • What we have control over: the 2% of land in Yarra Ranges that we manage. We have direct and legislated responsibility for this land, through the administration of state and local planning policy;
  • What we can influence: by leading, educating, informing and incentivising private landowners in the space of biodiversity protection and enhancement. We also work collaboratively with other land managers to achieve beneficial outcomes; and,
  • What we can advocate for: on behalf of our community, we are represented on advisory and multi-agency working groups, provide feedback on state and federal policy/ strategy as it impacts local biodiversit. We also advocate for increased biodiversity investment for our region.

The Plan will define the activities, programs and projects of the highest priority for the next 10 years. It will set targets for council and allow for prioritisation of conservation action on council managed land.

The Plan will improve our support to private landowners and increase environmental stewardship, identify areas to seek external funding, highlight key advocacy priorities for our municipality and ensure rigorous monitoring and adaptive management are embedded into our programs effectively.

The actions outlined in the Nature Plan (pp24-32) have identified timeframes for implementation. We will report back to the community each year on the progress of the actions.

There are lots of ways to get involved

Provide your feedback online now (registration required), in person, or through a webinar. More details are below. Follow this page to keep updated.

Webinars

The Biodiversity team at Council recently hosted two webinars. If you missed it, you can watch the webinar below.


Drop-in sessions

Members from the Biodiversity team will be available to meet in person to answer questions and give more information regarding the Draft Nature Plan. No bookings are required.

Officers will be available to answer any questions or collect your feedback at the following locations:

  • Lilydale Community Link, Civic Centre 15 Anderson Street, Lilydale

Tuesday 6 September, 10:00am-3:00pm

  • Healesville Community Link, 110 River Street Healesville

Thursday 8 September, 10.00am-3.00pm

  • Yarra Junction Community Link, 2442-2444 Warburton Highway, Yarra Junction

Wednesday 14 September, 10.00am-3.00pm

  • Monbulk Living and Learning Centre, 21 Main Road, Monbulk

Tuesday 27 September, 10.00am-3.00pm

  • Platypus Festival - Belgrave Lake Park, 35 Park Drive, Belgrave

Saturday 8th October – 11.00am-3.00pm

  • Wandin Silvan Field Day, 72 Monbulk-Seville Rd, Wandin East

Friday 14th October & Saturday 15th October, 8.30-5.00pm

  • Kilsyth Festival, Elizabeth Bridge Reserve, 39-47 Durham Rd, Kilsyth

Sunday 23rd October, 11.00am-3.30pm

Further dates and times for the in-person engagements across the Yarra Ranges, will be added as they are confirmed. Click the 'Follow' button at the top of the page to keep updated on opportunities for face-to-face feedback.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like us to get in touch, please contact us below:

Name Biodiversity Conversation
Phone 1300 368 333
Email BiodiversityConservationUnit@yarraranges.vic.gov.au
In writing

PO Box 105, Lilydale Vic 3140