Council is preparing an Urban Forest Strategy to provide clear direction for the protection, management, and planting of trees on public and private land, and to enhance the level of tree canopy cover across Bayside. The Strategy is a key part of delivering urgent, meaningful action on climate change as set out in the Climate Emergency Action Plan 2020 – 2025 and seeks to promote ecosystem health and alleviate issues such as air pollution and urban heat island effect.
The Urban Forest Strategy will identify actions Council can take to improve how we monitor, increase, and retain tree canopy cover and enhance species diversification. We will also aim to educate our community about trees to encourage greater care and protection of the Bayside Urban Forest.
We are seeking community feedback in two stages to help us identify the actions needed to reach the overarching goals of the Urban Forest Strategy, and measure the level of community support for key actions.
The first stage of community engagement in May/June 2021 was the formation of two focus groups: one for individual members of the Bayside community (broadly representative to the Bayside population profile) and another for local community organisation representatives. The role of these groups was to understand a diverse range of perspectives on trees to set actions in a draft Urban Forest Strategy.
The second stage of community engagement in August/September 2021 is to measure broader Bayside community support for proposed actions in the Draft Urban Forest Strategy.
Information gathered through community engagement on the Urban Forest Strategy may also be used to in the review of associated policies, such as the Management of Tree Protection on Private Property Policy.
The Urban Forest Strategy is a key part of delivering urgent, meaningful action on climate change as set out in the Climate Emergency Action Plan 2020 – 2025. The Strategy is committed to monitoring, retaining, and increasing tree canopy cover, and enhancing species diversification in Bayside.
Council aims to increase canopy cover across the City of Bayside to 25% by 2030, and to 30% by 2050. Council will be balancing a number of factors when considering its role and the actions within the Strategy.
Enhancing tree canopy cover and species diversification in Bayside will generate physical and mental wellbeing benefits, promote overall ecosystem health, and help to alleviate air pollution and urban heat island effect. Protecting and enhancing the urban forest will foster a healthier and more resilient Bayside now and into the future.
Council plants over 1,400 trees each year. We also manage the tree population in Council owned streets, reserves and parks (60,000+), and assess and undertake the issuing of permits to allow for tree and vegetation removal on private property.
A targeted and purposeful approach is required for Council’s tree planting program to increase canopy over Council managed land. It also requires new canopy tree plantings on public and private land, while minimising losses and actively monitoring tree removal and replacement on private property.
Through an Urban Forest Strategy, Council has proposed actions to overcome the key issues and challenges that impact the Bayside Urban Forest to allow for the increase of tree and vegetation canopy cover.
What information do we need from the community?
We’re consulting with the community in two phases: first to help us identify the actions needed to reach the overarching goals of the Urban Forest Strategy, and then to seek wider community feedback on the Draft Urban Forest Strategy.
What can the community influence?
- The overarching objectives and key actions of the Draft Urban Forest Strategy
- The protection and management of trees on private land
- Ways to support our vulnerable residents who are maintaining protected trees on their properties
- Education initiatives to support an increase of tree and vegetation canopy cover
- Prioritising tree canopy plantings at particular locations
What can't the community influence?
- The requirement for an Urban Forest Strategy
- Increasing the tree canopy cover as an action of the Urban Forest Strategy (2,000+ plantings each year across Council parks, reserves and streets)
- Increasing species diversity as an action of the Urban Forest Strategy
- Monitoring tree canopy cover as an action of the Urban Forest Strategy
- Retaining tree canopy cover as an action of the Urban Forest Strategy
- Service delivery and implementation of the Urban Forest Strategy
Stakeholders and community
This stakeholder assessment is a generalised understanding of sections of the community that have a connection to the project or matter. This information is used to understand the types of tools and techniques that will achieve the strongest and most effective outcomes for engagement and communication.
Impact: What level of change will the stakeholder / community segment experience as a result of the project/matter
Interest: What level of interest has been expressed or is anticipated
Influence: Reference to the IAP2 Spectrum.
Community environmental organisations
Bayside ‘Friends of’ groups
Wildlife rescue/interest groups
Bayside Foreshore Recreational Council
|Community members participating in focus group sessions||M||H||Involve|
General Bayside community
Residents in multi-unit developments
Residents engaging with Council’s planning permit process
|Elderly residents (>75)||M||L||Consult|
Residents with a disability
First Nations people / Traditional landowners
Homeowner/occupants of properties adjacent to or with views of the
foreshore and other areas of significance
|Community members with lower discretionary incomes||M||L||Consult|
|Residents with an interest in environmental issues||M||H||Consult|
Selected tools and techniques
The tools and techniques selected for this project are informed by the project content, stakeholders and type of feedback sought.
The unpredictable impact of COVID-19 restricts our ability for drop-in sessions, as well as slower distribution of mail.
Key tools for communicating the project
- Email notification to Have Your Say members
- Council website and e-newsletter, This Week in Bayside
- Social media, especially sponsored posts to increase audience reach
- Direct email and/or addressed mail to key stakeholders
- Have Your Say project webpage
- News articles on Council website and e-newsletter, This Week in Bayside
- Email updates to project subscribers and key stakeholder groups
- Article for inclusion in various special interest Council newsletters
- Social media, including sponsored posts to increase audience reach
- Let’s Talk Bayside magazine
Key methods for gathering feedback
- Expressions of Interest to join focus groups and participation in focus group sessions
- Online engagement through Have Your Say, including interactive maps, and opportunities to ask questions and provide feedback
- Drop-in or pop-up engagement sessions at major activity centres, reserves and playgrounds, and/or local community centres and events (subject to COVID restrictions)
- Bookable meetings with project team
- Liaison with community representatives, including Committees of Council, local interest and reference groups
- Printed survey and consultation materials available upon request
Timeline item 1 - complete
Focus group sessions
May - June 2021
Timeline item 2 - complete
Consideration of focus group feedback
Timeline item 3 - complete
Development of Draft Urban Forest Strategy
June - July 2021
Timeline item 5 - active
Community consultation on the Draft Urban Forest Strategy
19 August - 26 September 2021
Timeline item 6 - incomplete
Consideration of community feedback
September - October 2021
Timeline item 7 - incomplete
Revision of the Draft Urban Forest Strategy
September - October 2021
Timeline item 8 - incomplete
Proposed Urban Forest Strategy to be considered by Council
Expected 23 November 2021
Council will consider the Draft Urban Forest Strategy alongside the findings of the Stage 1 community engagement focus group sessions at its meeting on 17 August 2021. Following this, the second stage of community engagement will commence from 19 August 2021.
Council is expected to consider the findings of the second and wider phase of community engagement alongside the proposed Urban Forest Strategy at its meeting on 23 November 2021.
The agenda for this meeting, including a community engagement report and proposed Strategy, will be published on 18 November 2021 via Council's website. Project subscribers will be notified of the results of the engagement and the final Strategy at this time.
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If you would like more information please contact Rachael Hudson, Senior Strategic Planner, on 9599 4368 or firstname.lastname@example.org