This strategy provides the overarching direction for the natural environment across Ipswich.

It considers

  • Waterways and wetlands
  • Biodiversity and threatened species
  • Aboriginal cultural heritage and cultural landscape values
  • Urban and rural biodiversity
  • Sustainable nature-based recreation.

The strategy will guide the delivery and coordination of actions and activities undertaken across different council programs and plans which influence the natural environment.

This will range from the development and delivery of conservation and recovery plans for threatened species through to the planning of multi-functional open space areas.

Why is it important?

Ipswich’s natural environment is recognised as critically vital to the viability and liveability of the city due to the many ecosystem services it provides, including:

  • Providing habitat to a diversity of native flora and fauna
  • Supporting the lifestyle and health of the Ipswich community
  • Improving air and water quality
  • Providing carbon sequestration and storage
  • Regulating temperatures and flooding impacts
  • Providing landscape amenity and enhancing land values
  • Attracting tourists and increasing economic development
  • Enabling continued cultural and spiritual connection and ongoing cultural practices by the Traditional Owner community.

Key threats

The ability of the natural environment across Ipswich to continue to deliver these services is under threat from key city pressures including:

  • Population growth and urbanisation
  • Climate change
  • Land management and planning

Now is a critical point in time to protect and restore Ipswich’s natural environment values to build its resilience to future threats associated with urbanisation and climate change. A sharpening of priority outcomes and a step-change in approaches is needed and is the key focus of this strategy.

What do we want to achieve?

A connected and protected natural environment landscape is critical to preserve and restore resilient populations of native species which are under threat from existing and future impacts.

The Natural Environment Strategy identifies priority objectives and approaches to conserve and protect values and restore ecosystems to achieve more resilient landscapes.

Importantly, this strategy describes how the different themes can be delivered in an integrated manner to optimise the benefits achieved from investment decisions.

It also recognises that these outcomes cannot be achieved by council alone and that partnerships and education will be critical.