Maitland City Council is making major moves in its journey towards a more liveable and sustainable LGA, by endorsing a new Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2030.
The policy, the first of its kind, will outline realistic goals for improvement that align with both community expectations and state government targets.
Council’s manager environment and sustainability Catherine Pepper admitted it was an “exciting step”.
“We’re embarking on a range of actions and initiatives centred around the environment and long-term sustainability,” she said.
“The strategy provides a roadmap to bolster community health and wellbeing and economic opportunity, through improving the health of our local environment.
“We’ve identified four themes through the development of this strategy, which we feel form a solid foundation from which council, the community and local organisations can respond to Maitland’s key environmental priorities.
“Our community told us they’d like to see a greater push towards a circular economy where valuable resources are kept in production for longer and wastes are designed out of the system, preservation and protection of healthy green and blue natural spaces, more resilient and liveable communities, and a stronger focus on sustainable living practices.”
The Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2030 outlines 13 targets council will measure and report on over time to track progress.
These include delivering functional biodiversity corridors, protecting important natural spaces, improving waterway health, increasing canopy cover in residential areas, targeting net zero by 2050 across Maitland City operations and reducing illegal dumping.
Extensive community consultation informed the strategy’s development.
More than 1,000 responses were collected via phone and online surveys in 2022, with this insight playing a big role in shaping “the focus, strategic direction and actions we’ve outlined,”, according to Ms Pepper.
The draft version was then exhibited from 28 June to 26 July, receiving in excess of 60 submissions from residents, community groups, businesses and developers.
“This strategy is a commitment from council to take action and report back on our progress, across our four theme areas,” Ms Pepper said.
“We want to see Maitland be known for and proud of its healthy and resilient natural environment, where people and nature can thrive.
“A city that is full of connected communities who have the capacity to bounce back and adapt to hazards and a changing climate.
“Somewhere where the community feel supported to reduce its reliance on non-renewables.
“And, a Maitland with access to services and facilities that can broaden our circular economy outcomes.”
For more information on how council is protecting its local environment, visit www.maitland.nsw.gov.au/services/environment-sustainability
- Maitland is home to 8,534 hectares of native vegetation, with 425.6km of rivers and creeks
- Maitland’s ecological profile includes 695 flora species, 45 threatened fauna species and nine threatened ecological communities
- By 2041, Maitland’s population is estimated to exceed 144,000 people
- Maitland currently achieves a 38% diversion of domestic waste from landfill
- Maitland’s bin collection services adds 1,200 new households each year
- Only 63% of residents said they felt prepared or very prepared for natural disasters, according to a 2022 Environmental Attitudes Survey
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