The Bathurst Vegetation Management Plan has been prepared in response to Council's desire to have a document to guide it in land management issues and from the interest generated by various community interest groups. The Plan provides directions and recommendations on how land is to be managed throughout the Bathurst Local Government Area with respect to vegetation issues.
The Plan's Objectives
The main objectives of the Plan are:
- To provide a working tool for Council, private land owners and other sections of the community to manage the city's vegetation resource and plan for the future.
- To provide the foundation to develop other management actions in relation to vegetation.
- To strengthen the cultural and environmental values of native and exotic vegetation within the Bathurst Local Government Area.
Although much of the Plan concentrates on community land that is managed by Bathurst Regional Council, the recommended actions and management strategies detailed within the document can be adopted by all land owners.
In order to achieve the desired outcome, many of the Plan's actions, goals and recommendations will need the assistance from many sources.
Who is the Plan aimed at?
The Plan can be utilised by:
- Home Owners
- Interest Groups
- Other Land Owners
- Vegetation Themes
Within the Bathurst region's unique identity, there lie areas of specific character, each being integral in the make up of the landscape.
Overall, these features give the region a rural identity with strong cultural heritage significance.
It is anticipated that the management and planning of vegetation issues within any particular area of Bathurst will be considered in accordance with the vegetation themes that have been identified.
Areas of Bathurst have been classified into eight theme types according to a number of criteria which include land use, planning provisions, the natural and built environment, social expectations, environmental and ecological aspects.
The eight Vegetation Themes Are:
- Heritage Conservation Area
- Endemic Native Vegetation
- Native Vegetation
- Exotic/Native Mix
- Natives Dominant
- Exotics Dominant
The value of themes is to create a sense of unity, harmony, character and a sense of transition from one landscape to another. It is expected that themes will also retain and protect cultural, heritage and environmental values.
Throughout the landscape of Bathurst there are seven specific vegetation patterns or categories that have been identified.
The purpose of having vegetation categories is to provide Council and other land owners with detailed management procedures and recommendations on how best to care for and maintain each vegetation type that exists within a particular theme area.
The seven landscape management categories are:
- Significant Natural Landscapes
- Native Remnant Vegetation
- Public Parks and Reserves
It is possible that there may be a number of categories that lie within an identified landscape theme. For example, in the Heritage Conservation theme area, there may be categories such as streetscapes, waterways, parks and public reserves, each requiring different management practices.
Implementation - What Can I Do?
The Bathurst Vegetation Management Plan sets actions, goals and recommendations that, if they are to be achieved, will need the assistance of and be the responsibility of a number of organisations including State and Federal Government Departments.
The participation and involvement from the general community, private land owners and other interest groups will also be required and encouraged in specific areas, in order to fulfil the outcomes of the Plan.
Implementing the Plan will be an on-going process which could be undertaken merely by changing the current style of maintenance practices that may be conflicting with its recommendations, such as specific mowing practices or simple changes to the types of trees that should be planted.
The implementation of other specific large scale projects that have been identified within the Plan may be contingent upon substantial funding arrangements and therefore may need to be staged over a period of time. Other Government agency responsibilities and community funded and implemented projects are also another way of achieving the overall visions of the Plan.
Vegetation Management Plan Update
Council has commissioned Molino Stewart to update the Vegetation Management Plan for the Bathurst Regional Local Government Area (LGA). The aim of the update is to provide long term strategies and actions to manage vegetation across the region by providing:
- a benchmark for best practice vegetation management particularly on land owned and managed by Council, and
- a long-term working tool to identify issues, manage vegetation and plan for the future with specific actions and works.
Community consultation is underway to assess and include in the revised VMP any changes in vision, values, issues, targets or directions for vegetation management.