Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms - the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain and the ecosystems of which they form a part.
The Illawarra Councils ( Kiama Municipal Council, Wollongong City Council and Shellharbour City Council) received a three year grant from the NSW Environmental Trust to develop and commence implementation of an Illawarra Biodiversity Strategy, as part of the Illawarra Biodiversity and Food Security Strategy for Climate Change Project.
The strategy was adopted by Kiama Council on 23 May 2011. You can view the Illawarra Biodiversity Strategy here.
The Illawarra Biodiversity Strategy aims to:
The principal output of the Strategy is a regionally coordinated program of actions outlining how the Illawarra Councils can contribute to National and State natural resource management targets over the next five years.
The Illawarra Biodiversity Strategy also provides clear guidance to the allocation of internal and external funding to highest biodiversity value natural areas under Council care and control.
The Illawarra Bushland Database is a fantastic tool that collates flora survey information from over 600 sites in the Illawarra. You can search the information by maps, or even search by suburb name to find out what is growing naturally in the bushland in your area. This can help you plan your own planting based on local native species, and is useful for bush regenerators, Landcare and Bushcare volunteers, landscape architects, arborists, ecologists, botanists and agency staff and residents.
Under the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, Kiama Local Government Area is identified as containing the following Endangered Ecological Communities:
These communities are mapped in "The Natural Vegetation in the Municipality of Kiama New South Wales" (pdf 461 KB) report by Kevin Mills & Associates, 2006.
Littoral Rainforest is also protected under State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) No. 26 - Littoral Rainforests which identifies and makes provision for the protection of littoral (coastal) rainforest in New South Wales. SEPP No. 26 identifies patches of littoral rainforest near the Crooked River, Gerroa.
State Environmental Planning Policy No. 14 - Coastal Wetlands identifies and makes provision for the protection of coastal wetlands in New South Wales. Wetlands along the Minnamurra River, Spring Creek in Kiama and Ooaree Creek in Rose Valley, are identified in the Policy.
The Endangered Ecological Communities of the Illawarra factsheet (pdf 602 KB) provides information on the affected areas in the Illawarra.
According to the Atlas of New South Wales Wildlife (National Parks and Wildlife Service), there are 185 known flora species and 496 known fauna species within the Kiama Local Government Area.
The Atlas of New South Wales Wildlife indicates that seven plant species within the Kiama Local Government Area are listed as threatened species in Schedules 1 and 2 of the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. These plant species are also listed as threatened under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The Atlas of New South Wales Wildlife indicates that 30 animal species within the Kiama Local Government Area are listed as threatened species in Schedules 1 and 2 of the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. Some of these animal species are also listed as threatened under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
A full list of threatened flora and fauna in the Kiama Municipality can be found in the State of the Environment Report and in the report "The Fauna of Kiama: Municipality of Kiama, South Coast New South Wales" (pdf 459 KB) by Kevin Mills & Associates, 2006. Figure 1 - Kiama Local Government Area. Figure 2 - Vegetation Map of the Kiama Municipality. Figure 3 - Endangered Ecological Communities.
For more information on threatened species and ecological communities, refer to the Department of Environment and Conservation.
The main threats for both flora and fauna are habitat loss and fragmentation due to vegetation clearing, predation by feral and domestic animals, inappropriate fire regimes, overgrazing of habitat areas by stock, disturbance of stream banks, pollution and weed invasions.
The New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 lists key threatening processes that may have the capability to threaten species, populations or ecological communities. A list of these processes can be found in the State of the Environment Report and the Department of Environment and Conservation.
The New South Wales Noxious Weeds Act 1993 allows weeds to be declared noxious, meaning that they have a detrimental effect, or cause serious economic loss to agriculture or the environment, and there is a reasonable and enforceable means of control. The Illawarra District Noxious Weeds Authority works to control weeds in the Illawarra Area.
If you live or work on the bank of a river or stream, you play an important role in the health of our waterways!
Rivers are vital habitat for a range of species including fish, shellfish, frogs, platypus and water birds. They are also an important part of our way of life, providing water for livestock and domestic use, and supporting industries such as tourism, recreational and commercial fishing and oyster production. Rivers are under pressure from further development, increasing demand for water use, and inappropriate land management practices resulting in loss of habitat, sedimentation, erosion and other water pollution issues.
Everyone has a role to play in ensuring our rivers and estuaries continue to be healthy and productive for future generations.
Here are some useful tips to help you to look after your river and to comply with current laws aimed at protecting our waterways.
In 2011 the NSW Department of Primary Industries developed the Guidelines for responding to suspected marine pest incursions in NSW to assist the Department and other relevant Agencies in investigating and responding to a suspected marine pest incursion with a whole-of government approach. The Guidelines supports, but does not replace the established emergency management arrangements already in place by providing guidance on resources, loctions, sources of information, contacts and other relevant procedures in NSW.
The Illawarra is a spectacular and unique part of Australia. One of its greatest assets is its rich and diverse biodiversity.
The Illawarra hosts plant communities such as the Illawarra Lowlands Grassy Woodlands, and Illawarra Subtropical Rainforest, which are unique to our local area.
To help people grow great native gardens, Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama Councils have teamed up to develop the GROW LOCAL garden guides. The paperback guides - which were developed with support from the NSW Environmental Trust - cover everything from plant selection and garden design to growing bird-attracting plants.
This guide will help you find suitable local plants for urban and rural gardens of the Illawarra. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but will provide an introduction to those local native plants that are most readily available.
Click on the image to download a PDF copy (2,512 KB) of the Grow Local: Illawarra Native Garden Guide
Note: The guide is intended for use by residents of Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama Council areas. it is not designed to guide revegetation of natural areas such as Bushcare or Landcare sites or riparian zones. Planting in these areas should be guided by the naturally occuring suite of native species that occur in that location.
Council's Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 1996 provides for specific measures to control the impact of human activities upon local biodiversity within designated High Conservation Value Areas and land within Rural Environmental Zones 7b (Estuarine Wetlands), 7b1 (Wetland Buffer), 7d (Scenic), 7e (Hinterland), 7f (Foreshore Protection) and 7l (General). The LEP is currently being reviewed. The new Kiama LEP 2010 is expected to be approved by the Department of Infrastructure and Planning late 2011.
The Local Government Act 1993 requires that Council prepare Plans of Management for community land, in conjunction with the community, to identify the important features of the land, clarify how Council will manage the land and how the land may be used or developed. Engineering & Works' Plans of Management have been prepared for many reserves within the municipality and many include provisions to protect and enhance biodiversity within the reserves and protect any threatened species that may be present.
Under sub-clause 5.9 of Kiama Local Environmental Plan 2011, a person must not ringbark, cut down, top, lop, remove, injure or wilfully destroy any tree or other vegetation, without development consent or a permit being granted by Council. This clause applies to trees and vegetation that:
(a) are 3.0 metres or more in height; or
(b) have a diameter of 200 mm or more at a height of 1.0 metre above the ground; or
(c) have a branch spread of 3.0 metres or more.
A Tree Permit Application (pdf 74 KB) is necessary for any tree management.
Council conducts ongoing rehabilitation projects at Spring Creek, Jerrara Dam and on various beaches in the municipality. Council also supports the annual National Tree Day Planting activities of schools and community groups.
Council supports Landcare, Dunecare and Rivercare groups within the Kiama Municipality. There are a number of active groups undertaking weeding and rehabilitation works on private and public land. For more information about Landcare or to participate in group activities, contact the Community Support Officer on 4221 6159.
Council is an active member of the Illawarra Regional Threatened Flora Recovery Team which is convened by the New South Wales Department of Environment and Conservation. The Regional Recovery Team has developed Recovery Plans for six threatened flora species within the Illawarra Region:
These plans are included in the Department of Environment and Conservation's NSW Priority Action Statement.
Council participates in and supports many projects initiated and/or funded by the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority, including the Southern Riparian Partnership Project, Southern Rivers Bush Incentives, the Wetlands Revive Project and the Feral Animal Control Project in Broughton Creek and Crooked River Catchments.
The “South coast communities sea spurge control” project, funded through the Australian Government"s “Caring for our Country” program, is aiming to establish a control line against the northward progression of sea spurge, Euphorbia paralias. The project involves the coastal council members of the Southern Council's group aiming to reduce the sea spurge infestations on our coastline to manageable levels within the 2 year timeframe of the project and install educational signage at known hot spot. The Kiama Municipality has only one known infestation and is where the northward containment line is aiming to be established. For more information on sea spurge and its identification and removal techniques please refer to the following brochure (pdf 1.88 MB).
The Remnant Vegetation and River Corridor Action Plan for the Minnamurra Catchment 2002 (pdf 2969 KB) was developed for those involved with vegetation management in the catchment, funded by a Natural Heritage Trust grant to the Minnamurra Environment Group. Detailed information on eleven sub-catchments is provided to assist on-the-ground projects. The plan identifies priority areas for vegetation actions on maps, with an aim to represent all vegetation communities and efficient protection of remnants.
Last updated: Tuesday 12 February, 2013