Innovative and Collaborative Solution
How does the initiative show evidence of feasibility, including on-going financial and logistical support?
This incredible increase in green canopy is independently verified through the Greener Spaces Better Places network (https://www.greenerspacesbetterplaces.com.au/), who have prepared an annual report in relation to their 202020 Vision program titled “Where will the trees be?”
This report is based on their national benchmarking research of green cover in Australian suburbs and cities which looks at which places are gaining green cover and why.
Highlights from their 2019/2020 report include: (refer below)
A special mention is made to Logan City Council (refer Page 34 – 35) identifying Logan City Council (QLD) as the best on ground Council (suburban category), recording a significant increase in green cover alongside population and increase in hard space. The report showcases our land acquisition program and our conservation covenants.
This is the third annual report they have prepared; previous reports are available at:
Key contributions and achievements to this fantastic achievement include:
- Around 75 hectares of Logan City Council land is used for tree planting as part of the offset program.
- 22,922 native plants have been planted since the River Trees Program started in 2017!
- Since 2018, Council has purchased a range of properties for conservation, totalling over 300 hectares. We will continue to buy land to protect the bushland forever.
- Over 84% of the native vegetation across our city is protected.
In what ways is the initiative innovative?
Key elements of our Living Green for Biodiversity suite of initiatives include:
- Natural Environment Strategy – outlines how we will balance growth and development with our natural environment while meeting the challenges of a changing climate. It provides a road map to ensure The City of Logan’s natural environment is protected, enhanced, connected and celebrated to provide valued spaces for people, plants and animals now and into the future.
- Environmental Conservation Partnerships Policy and Program – Supports the protection, maintenance and enhancement of our natural environment, ecological corridors and waterways through a network of focused community partnerships and targeted private land conservation initiatives.
- Environmental Management Planning Scheme Policy – includes an innovative environmental offset process that achieves a net gain on trees in the ground where vegetation clearing is unavoidable through development. Council has already planted over 77,000 trees funded by the development industry and has achieved a net growth in green canopy across the city over the last couple of years.
- Climate Change Resilience Strategy with the strategic vision: That LCC, and our city’s environment, community and economy, will be resilient to the impacts of a variable and changing climate.
- Carbon Reduction Action Plan – Sets out a framework and identifies actions to ensure our vision to become a carbon neutral and green city becomes a reality.
- Green Fleet – Logan City Council Sustainable Fleet Strategy – sets out a roadmap outlining how we intend to transition to a greener cleaner Australian fleet.
How is the initiative supported by collaborative working across disciplines and sectors?
In developing our vision, and these strategies, plans and policies, extensive community and professional consultation and engagement was undertaken. This included:
- Community City Visioning process – a city wide community city vision process which put our community at the heart of our future decision-making by creating a shared vision. The Logan Community Vision was developed over a ten-month period, from September 2020 to June 2021. The Logan Community Vision statement, themes, actions and ideas guide and influence how we deliver programs and services in the short, medium and long-term.
- Professional and cross discipline engagement – a 6 week process where engagement and consultation through working groups, meetings and correspondence/communications with professional groups including civil and environmental engineers, health professionals, town planners, architects, ecologists, social planners, compliance and development assessment professionals.
- Public ‘Have Your Say’ community consultation – each strategy was on Council’s have your say platform, where it was open for comment to the public and community. Promotion included social media, posts, local newspapers and media releases.
- Professional and community participation during the engagement phases has been extremely positive with high participation and engagement rates achieved.
LCC also recognizes the importance of community partnerships in achieving our vision and building climate change resilience – which led to the enhancement of our Environmental Conservation Partnerships – a program that provides private landholders incentives to conserve and enhance bushland and trees on their own properties.
How does the initiative demonstrate evidence of community support?
As noted above, our adopted strategies and plans include a broad range of strategic objectives and implementation actions to deliver on our vision of a green city. In addition to the above, since 2018, a number of ground-breaking, innovative and bold projects have been successfully delivered which include:
- Resilient Rivers Initiative – agricultural sector, local producers including turf farmers, – a regional program that supported land producers through restoration of waterways, planting vegetation to stabilise land erosion, separation of livestock watering from waterway banks, and included the development of a turf farm code of practice to support and guide businesses to not only achieve increased production and more efficient use of fertilizers but also to ensure run off is controlled and environmental outcomes can be achieved in partnership with economic outcomes.
- LEAF – community education and engagement – delivery of an annual environmental festival – attended by around 10,000 community members to learn about sustainability, climate change and environmental stewardship.
- City wide Eco Awards – including a sustainability category to recognise and celebrate community members and organisations that align with the living green for biodiversity values and protecting, enhancing connecting and celebrating our natural environment and biodiversity values.
- Threatened species recovery – both flora and fauna. LCC is one of the only local governments in Australia to have our own species recovery plans including ones for koala, Gossia gonoclada and Melaleuca irbyana.