The City of Holdfast Bay Environment Strategy was approved in March 2020. It uses strong and powerful language regarding the need for urgent, community wide action in order to reduce climate emissions and create a truly environmentally sustainable future (both locally and globally). The phrase "towards and beyond environmental sustainability" was apt.
Consultation on this strategy occurred at the end of 2019 and the draft strategy was approved in March 2020. Feedback on this was due to occur in May 2020. The 5049 Coastal Community Environmental Task Group provided a submission.
Overall, our task group was supportive of the strategy. It uses strong and powerful language regarding the need for urgent, community wide action in order to reduce climate emissions and create a truly environmentally sustainable future (both locally and globally). The phrase "towards and beyond environmental sustainability" was apt.
Locally, the Dune Biodiversity Plan will continue and Kingston Cliff Face will have a Biodiversity Plan developed for it. Sustainable management of Tjilbruke Springs is listed as an issue but no specific action is listed. Protection of seagrass meadows and the rocky reef off Kingston Park are also mentioned as an issue with no action listed but these are managed by the Coast Protection Board (although the quality of stormwater flowing out to sea is important and that is under council control).
One area of concern is that tree planting is considered important by the community and the council, yet the number of trees planted is not being increased. This is partly due to the cost (tree purchase and maintenance) and also because planting is limited by how many can be watered. A proposal to buy a second water truck has been watered down (excuse the pun!) to a short-term contract for watering so this will be a limiting factor in the future again. However, this year some extra trees will be planted so that is pleasing.
Carbon neutrality by 2030 is an important target but funding of this seems to depend on the community’s strength of commitment. Surely that has already been demonstrated in the recent consultation. It would be disappointing to lose this.
A primary school student asks for more bins at the beach and that is quoted but no action is shown. We are encouraged to use recyclable or compostable packaging instead of single-use plastic. Yet there are few recycling bins and compostable (green) bins in our reserves and streets or on the coast path. Mostly, general litter bins are provided. The extra costs entailed in picking up more bins with different waste types could be offset by a reduction in the amount of expensive landfill waste. We believe this should be investigated.
Council is to be praised for its use of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and Treenet inlets providing stormwater to new tree plantings. However it is noted that several metro councils have adapted to use WSUD routinely for all their new streetscapes and can now install it as cheaply as non-WSUD upgrades. The savings in better-growing trees and less root damage of roads and footpaths is a major benefit this council should prioritise.
Seacliff Produce Swap was developed by a local resident and is a positive example of a community-led initiative within the council area.
Please let us know if you have other comments about the strategy firstname.lastname@example.org.