Status: Closed

Between September and November last year, we asked for your input to help us develop a draft Greater Bendigo Biodiversity Strategy. We heard from over 500 people at forums, stakeholder workshops, focus groups, community group meetings on Let's Talk, and in writing. We are now seeking your input on the draft Strategy.

Developing the Strategy is an action in the Council Plan Mir Wimbul 2021-2025. It also builds on and revises biodiversity goals in the Climate Change and Environment Strategy 2021-2026.

We want to ensure we protect and improve all the natural things we love about GreaterBendigo into the future.

Our collective vision for biodiversity:



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The overarching goal is to make sure the strategy:

  • meets Traditional Owner, federal, state, and local obligations
  • fits with best practice global biodiversity targets

The objectives of the Biodiversity Strategy:

  • Create a shared vision and strong partnerships for biodiversity conservation across Greater Bendigo
  • Create a suite of actions that promote diverse, thriving ecosystems and address the challenges of climate change
  • Establish a biodiversity monitoring program to track the impact of Council and the community’s activities
  • Embed biodiversity conservation at the core of Council’s planning, policy, and business practices
  1. Protect Greater Bendigo's existing natural values
  2. Enhance native vegetation communities, habitats and species diversity
  3. Connect habitats and species through strategic linkages
  4. Advocate on behalf of the community and environment
  5. Engage the community in environmental stewardship

We have grouped the actions in the Strategy under these five pillars.

We will track progress, assess and report on all actions undertaken.

The Strategy includes 61 actions which seek to address the challenges faced. The top 10 key priorities are:

  1. Establish a permanent Biodiversity Engagement Officer position to meet growing community needs
  2. Investigate a specified Environmental Planner position
  3. Review the environmental policies and overlays included in the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme
  4. Develop and implement a ‘Habitat Connectivity Plan’ to create biolinks across Greater Bendigo
  5. Implement a Significant Tree Register and ensure registered trees are properly protected
  6. Establish a biodiversity monitoring program that is representative, robust and strategic
  7. Develop and implement Environmental Management Plans for Council managed natural reserves
  8. Continue and expand the Healthy Landscapes regenerative agriculture program
  9. Conduct a Service Review of the Natural Reserves Team
  10. Create a local carbon offsets program


Frequently asked questions

Biodiversity includes all living things on Earth - the different plants, animals and micro-organisms and the ecosystems on land and in water where they exist and interact.

We need healthy functioning ecosystems for a productive and healthy environment – they provide habitat for native plants and animals and ecosystem services such as clean drinking water and fertile soils for production. They are important in human cultural practices, particularly those of Traditional Owners, and to economic growth, job creation and technological development.

Biodiversity is constantly changing. Some of this is normal, as species come and go over long periods of time or populations fluctuate. However, biodiversity loss is often exacerbated by human practices - habitat degradation and modification, and by climate change.

As we lose biodiversity, we lose the very thing that sustains our ecosystems and creates a world where we can live and enjoy safely.

Governments and agencies working in the natural environment develop strategies to set down clear visions, goals and actions that aid prioritisation of work and resources. They help identify what is known, where current actions are and gaps in knowledge and action. They don’t just sit on shelves gathering dust. The development of this strategy will ensure the City is playing its role in caring for the natural environment in the best way possible within its capacity.

Greater Bendigo has a wealth of natural ecosystems within our municipality. However, land clearing, mining, agriculture, urban development, inappropriate fire regimes, pest plants and animals, river regulation, water pollution and climate change continue to contribute to vast changes in the natural environment.

Greater Bendigo is currently home to 105 threatened flora species, 65 threatened birds, seven threatened mammals, four threatened fish, seven threatened reptiles, two threatened amphibians and two threatened invertebrates.

An expected loss of 15 percent of all Council managed urban trees has been forecast by 2030 due to their natural end of life, storms, development and other pressures. Consequently, the City of Greater Bendigo is committed to tripling its street-tree planning program through the Greening Greater Bendigo strategy.

There are local successes where biodiversity is improving, including the reintroduction of native fish species into streams and lakes and the re-population of Tuans (Brush-tailed Phascogale), Gliders and Powerful Owl at Crusoe Reservoir and Number 7 Park. However, it is difficult to assess the overall health of local biodiversity due to limited data and monitoring. Time and funds are often limited, so to achieve more effective long-term biodiversity conservation goals, a shared vision and robust strategy with clear priorities for action are required across Greater Bendigo.

The strategy will develop a shared vision for governments and agencies for protecting and improving nature across Greater Bendigo, including both urban and rural environments. The strategy will include identification of policy and planning initiatives as well as priorities for community and traditional owner engagement and on ground action. It will provide a framework for collaboration on region-wide questions and develop a clear set of management actions to help seek and allocate resources to implement a wildlife monitoring framework that is robust, deliberate and strategic.

The City of Greater Bendigo’s Climate and Environment Strategy outlines several priorities for biodiversity conservation across Greater Bendigo. The five broad goals for the City and the community to support biodiversity are:

  • Having City projects that regenerate landscapes and ecosystems
  • Protecting native habitat and areas of important biodiversity for future generations
  • Having connected and flourishing urban and rural landscapes and ecosystems
  • Creating strong community connection to, awareness of and care for our ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Continuing respectful and effective partnerships with Traditional Owners to regenerate ecosystems

Broad targets have been set under each of these goals to help us achieve them. However, the natural environment and its climate are very complex, and the need for specific actions to address biodiversity decline and meet our broad targets is urgent. A Biodiversity Strategy will set clear objectives and actions for what, where and how to support biodiversity conservation across Greater Bendigo, how the City will partner with Traditional Owners, work with other land managers and engage and empower the community to protect our natural environment.

The City manages a range of parks and reserves across Greater Bendigo, from bushland reserves, to cycle paths, creek lines and sports grounds. The City ensures such areas can be used safely by the community, whilst also remaining home to many of the native plants and animals that call our region home.

The City supports community groups and private landholders to improve biodiversity values and work within existing policy frameworks to ensure biodiversity is protected across the City. Biodiversity exists everywhere, so we all have a role to play.

Yes. There are many different government agencies, non-government organisations (NGO’s), Landcare and friends groups, private landholders, businesses and passionate community members working to protect our natural environment.

The Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung peoples have country plans, which set out their vision and goals for the natural environment across Greater Bendigo. The Victorian and Aaustralian Governments have state-wide and national biodiversity strategies, policies and laws that we have a duty to implement locally. Non-government organisations have clear mission statements and objectives for how to conserve our natural environment. We hope to create a shared vision for biodiversity, seeking input and advice from all groups, identifying our different roles and where and how we can work together to manage the lands we live on.

The City of Greater Bendigo is home to many passionate and knowledgeable environmental groups, land management agencies, traditional owners, private landholders and individuals working to heal our environment through bushland regeneration, species monitoring and care for nature. To create our shared vision, we need you to share your knowledge and ideas too!

You can contribute by completing the survey and activities on this project page.

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