Multi-million dollar conservation boost through Enviroplan investment

26 April 2022

A significant increase in investment saw $4.9 million contributed towards Ipswich conservation initiatives through Ipswich City Council’s Enviroplan initiative.

This is an increase of $2.3 million from the previous year – and is detailed in the Enviroplan Program and Levy Progress Report for 2020-2021 to be published on Council’s website and the Transparency and Integrity Hub.

Environment and Sustainability Committee Chairperson Councillor Russell Milligan said the report’s high level of detail clearly showed how the ratepayer-funded Enviroplan levy was spent.

“Everything from pest and weed control, nature recreation experiences, fire hazard reduction, to bio-condition assessments, is undertaken through Enviroplan,” he said.

“I recommend everyone in the community read this report as it’s Ipswich ratepayers, through the annual Enviroplan levy, who have made these positive conservation outcomes possible.”

Councillor Milligan said one highlight from the 2020-2021 report was the voluntary acquisition of land at Woolshed for the Mount Grandchester Conservation Estate.

“This purchase has significantly increased the width of the wildlife movement corridor between the southern and northern portions of the estate,” Councillor Milligan said.

“Increasing the size and connectivity of this Enviroplan conservation estate is also important for its value as koala habitat.”

Councillor Milligan said Enviroplan also celebrated 25 years in 2021.

“This forward-thinking initiative led to vital conservation estates such as White Rock – Spring Mountain and Flinders – Goolman being secured for the environment before Ipswich’s population boom,” he said.

“It is now an exciting time for Enviroplan in terms of moving forward. Now that we have a significant, established portfolio of conservation estates and reserves, we can consider strategic priorities for the next 25 years.

“I encourage the Ipswich community to be part of setting the strategic direction for our natural environment, including Enviroplan, with the Natural Environment Strategy engagement open on Shape Your Ipswich.”

How $4.9 million of Enviroplan funds was allocated in 2020-2021

  • 51 per cent – managing and improving Enviroplan estates and reserves
  • 34 per cent – acquiring land and servicing the loan for previous acquisitions
  • 10 per cent – planning and research
  • 5 per cent – partnerships and community support

Highlights from the 2020/2021 Financial Year

  • $831,000 for voluntary acquisition of 63 hectares next to Mount Grandchester Conservation Estate
  • $180,000 in grants to landholders, community, and Land Management Payments
  • $115,000 in vegetation, flora and fauna monitoring
  • $1.3 million on enhancement and protection capital projects
  • $434,000 for bushfire fuel reduction works
  • $108,000 in pest animal monitoring and management