Our Plan for the Southern Cassowary Coast

There are not many places where people share their backyards with cassowaries, but in our Local Landscape, that’s exactly what happens.

Our strong community pride, combined with our landscape’s natural exceptional beauty, provide strong foundations for us to carefully plan, protect and enhance all our region’s values.

We know it’s a fine balance between conserving our region’s natural values, while ensuring our communities and industries remain strong, vibrant and productive.

There is a lot of good work happening and great partnerships already in place in our Local Landscape; we plan to build on this even further to get that balance right.

Our three top priorities

1. Community Values

We will work to ensure our community understands and appreciates the environmental, cultural, economic and recreational values of our natural areas.
Promotion of success stories is an effective tool in raising awareness within the community.

In our small towns, recognition of those successful events and word of mouth can be powerful tools to help spread the message of good natural resource management.

Combined with clear, targeted educational programs, we can go a long way towards increasing NRM knowledge and understanding and bring about greater involvement and support, both from the community and government.

“We would like to see the majority of landowners committed to and proud of applying best practice to conserving natural values of their land. We can promote these champions as mentors.”

Examples of our priority actions include:

• Lobby for bi-partisan government support to secure more stable long term funding/policies.
• Develop a network of NRM champions to promote tree planning and build community pride.

2. Water

We will enhance the quality of our water and the condition of our waterways.

Our landscape certainly gets its fair share of rain, so maintaining healthy wetlands and waterways here can contribute to achieving healthy landscapes and communities.

Our waterways provide opportunities for recreation and are a social outlet. Equally important is how we manage the adjacent riparian zones and the surrounding catchment. What we do here also has a big impact on the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

Using many approaches, and considering everything from fish movement to wetland health and rural and urban runoff, can help us reach our goal.

 “Cyclones Larry and Yasi hit the rivers and riparian vegetation pretty hard and they need some help to recover and be in a more resilient state for next time.”

Examples of our priority actions include:

• Conduct active waterway restoration, including revegetation and clearing debris.
• Construct fish passages to connect the waterways and wetlands and allow fish to move.
• Construct sediment traps and artificial lagoons to improve the health of wetlands.

3. Sustainable Industries

Our region’s industries will be sustainable, diverse and resilient, supporting our communities and natural environments.

A combination of our tropical climate, natural landscapes and strong communities have contributed to the development of a range of successful industries in our region.

Traditional crops are being supplemented by other industries, and that is important for our regional employment and development.

Mother Nature’s forces, evident in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclones Larry and Yasi, can impact significantly on our region’s industries and economic and agricultural diversity can help build resilience, particularly given the future potential impacts of climate change.

“Happy, healthy, resilient ecosystems will flow on to happy farmers.”

Examples of our priority actions include:

• Use a range of education and empowerment programs to achieve improved environmental and agricultural sustainability.
• Use Turning the Tide project to rejuvenate the area and increase tourist numbers.
• Conduct more aggressive pest eradication programs to allow for a more diverse and stable agricultural economy.

Other priorities:

There are some other key outcomes we have identified to help maintain and enhance our Local Landscape. We are particularly interested in improving biodiversity outcomes through protection, rehabilitation and connection of remnant forest.

This will help secure habitat for many species of wildlife, including iconic animals like the Mahogany Glider and the Southern Cassowary.

We are also aware of the significant impact of invasive species, including weeds, feral animals and domestic pets. Coordinated and comprehensive programs are required to minimise their impacts.

“Revegetating will improve the landscape and survival chances of the mahogany glider and other species.”

For more detail on the priority actions identified by the community for our Local Landscape, click on this link.

Last updated 16/11/15 11:19 am