The community and the Shire values the natural environment and unique biodiversity of the region, and seeks to protect and enhance it for current and future generations.
The Shire lies within the South West’s botanical province, which supports an estimated 8000 species of vascular plants, representing two thirds of the estimated species in Western Australia.
Over 80% of the plants in the South West are endemic to the province. These plants are not found anywhere else.
The Shire is part of the Busselton to Augusta National Biodiversity Hotspot and the International South West Hotspot.
- Acknowledge the exceptional concentration in diversity and endemism (that occur nowhere else) of species in an area
- Highlight the threats to this biodiversity as a result of the significant loss of habitat in these areas.
It is now estimated that within the shire there are:
- 6 Threatened Ecological Communities
- 59 Vegetation complexes including a significant number which are threatened
- 69 Declared Rare and Priority Flora species
- 28 Declared Threatened Fauna species.
Threats to our natural areas
Threats to our natural areas arise from human and environmental factors such as fire, weeds, climate change and clearing for development.
Our goal and responsibility
The Shire has a responsibility to protect the environment through planning for the future and to proactively respond to key environmental issues.
The Shire is directly responsible for managing over 300 Reserves, containing over 3,300 ha of remnant vegetation and waterways. Many of these reserves contain very high environmental and social values.
Our goal is to:
- Increase the size of the natural areas in the Shire which have a high degree of protection
- Improve the quality of natural areas
- Identify and mitigate against risks to protected natural areas.
The Shire and partners have developed over 20 management plans for Shire reserves (see list below) that detail their unique values, threats and provide detailed recommendations to improve them.
- Barrett Street Reserve EMP 2011
- Molloy Island Land for Wildlife Plan 2012
- Granny James Reserve Land for Wildlife Plan 2012
- Lot 5176 Hillview Road (Augusta Golf Club) Plan 2012
- Reserve 30327 (Bessell Rd Rosa Brook) Action Plan 2012
- Reserve 37152 (Bessell Rd Rosa Brook) Action Plan 2012
- Reserve 39142 (Bramley River Rd Rosa Brook) Action Plan 2012
- Rosa Brook Reserves (Rosa Brook Rd) Action Plan 2012
- Riverslea Foreshore EMP 2014
- Witchcliffe Reserves Management Plan 2015
- Alexandra Bridge (Reserves 23480 and 38822) Reserve Action Plan 2016
- Alexandra Bridge Hall (Reserve 23973) Reserve Action Plan 2016
- East Augusta and Swan Lake (Reserves 39434 and 25211) Reserve Action Plan 2016
- Lower Margaret River Foreshore Action Plan 2018
- Brookfield Foreshore Reserve Action Plan 2018
- Brookfield Reserve Bushland Management Plan 2018
- Kevill Road East Bushland Management Plan 2018
- Cowaramup Bay Management Plan 2019
- Redman Brook Management Plan 2020
- Gnarabup Prevelly Foreshore Management Plan 2022.
The Shire works with volunteers and partners to manage our environment including implement large scale revegetation, weed control and access control. We also provide funding to community groups to undertake works.
To learn more contact the Shire environment team on [email protected]
Strategic planning for new urban growth areas
The Shire’s strategic planning for new urban growth areas has placed high importance on the retention of natural bushland and has specifically identified predominantly cleared areas for development purposes.
Through the Subdivision and Conservation Policy, the Shire offers a considerable subdivision incentive for landowners to arrange for a conservation covenant to be applied to native bushland on their property, thus protecting it and putting in place a plan for its management.
How can you help?
- When walking in nature, stick to paths where possible, to avoid the spread of dieback
- Keep your pet cats indoors at night time
- Keep your pet dog(s) on leads and out of national parks
- Incorporate local native vegetation into landscaping
- Join a friends or community environmental group such as the Nature Conservation or the Lower Blackwood Catchment group.