Ku-ring-gai Council is asking for the public’s views on expanding a scheme which offsets the environmental impacts of new development by investing in other land for biodiversity conservation.
The scheme – known as BioBanking - works by landowners securing funds through the sale of ‘biodiversity credits’, which are then used to pay for the ongoing management of BioBanked land.
Currently around 100 hectares of bush owned by Ku-ring-gai Council are covered by a BioBanking agreement, in bushland reserves between Turramurra and West Pymble in the area known as Sheldon Forest, Rofe Park at South Turramurra and Comenarra Creek Reserve, also in South Turramurra.
Under the agreement, a BioBanking trust fund for these sites provides permanent annual management payments of between $100,000 and $130,000 for the first 20 years of the agreement, and about $40,000 each year after that. The funding is used for a variety of land management practices, such as weed control, revegetation and removing feral animals.
The proposal currently on public exhibition is seeking to expand BioBanking so it becomes an ongoing biodiversity management approach in Ku-ring-gai.
According to Mayor Jennifer Anderson, Ku-ring-gai’s BioBanking sites are delivering ‘real benefits for the local environment’.
“Since these sites were created, surveys are showing the return of butterflies and jumping spiders, which in turn are attracting frogs, Powerful Owls and small mammals such as pygmy possums, feathertail gliders and bandicoots,” the Mayor said.
Mayor Anderson said a benefit of BioBanking was that it delivered guaranteed funding for biodiversity conservation and the opportunity to access other funding such as government grants.
The public are being invited to complete a short survey, make a comment online.
To view the proposal to extend BioBanking, visit www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/havemysay, any Ku-ring-gai library or the Council’s customer service centre at 818 Pacific Highway Gordon. The proposal is on public exhibition until 5pm on Wednesday 26 July.
Media enquiries: Sally Williams Ku-ring-gai Council Ph: 9424 0982