City Proposes Possum Protection Programme - May 10, 2012
The City of Busselton is currently advertising the Draft Western Ringtail Possum Habitat Protection and Enhancement Strategy and associated town planning scheme Amendment 146 to address the protection and enhancement of Western Ringtail Possum habitat in the Busselton and Dunsborough townsites.
The draft strategy outlines the City’s suite of initiatives that are designed to address the ongoing loss of Western Ringtail Possum habitat within the two townsites. Busselton and Dunsborough form some of the most important strongholds for this iconic species which is also the City’s fauna emblem.
Although the Western Ringtail Possum is listed by the Federal Government as a ‘vulnerable’ species, areas of habitat on private land in urban areas are not generally protected. The City’s draft strategy provides significant incentives to encourage retention of habitat on private land and to enhance habitat on public land.
The proposed initiatives include:
- introducing planning mechanisms to provide for the offset of habitat clearing and incentives for the retention of habitat vegetation;
- habitat enhancement and planting to restore areas of habitat on public land;
- review of internal operations and processes to ensure that the City is maximising opportunities to protect and enhance habitat; and
- a community information and interpretation programme to increase awareness of the status and value of the Western Ringtail Possum.
Mayor Ian Stubbs is encouraging the community and landowners to comment on the draft strategy. “Whilst many of us have mixed views about possums in our parks and gardens, the research indicates that older parts of the Busselton and Dunsborough townsites are really important habitat. If we manage change carefully, possums can coexist with people. The City has put a lot of thought into the draft strategy, which contains a number of innovative and creative elements, including a real focus on incentives and equity for landowners. Before formally adopting the strategy we are very keen to get community feedback. Councillors will consider feedback very carefully before the strategy is finalised.”
Copies of the draft strategy and Amendment 146 can be obtained from http://www.busselton.wa.gov.au/community/consultation or by viewing copies at the City ofBusselton Offices and Libraries during business hours, or by contacting the City. Further information including responses to Frequently Asked Questions is also available on the City’s website.
Submissions on Amendment 146 may be made in writing on Form No. 4 (available on the City’s website), quoting reference number WAPC09/0013. Submissions on the Strategy may be made in writing, quoting ‘WRP Strategy’. Submissions can be sent by mail to City of Busselton, Locked Bag 1, BUSSELTONWA6280; or by Email to email@example.com. Submissions will be received until close of business 23 May 2012.
Media enquiries can be directed to the City’s Communications Officer, Meredith Dixon on 9781 0446 or firstname.lastname@example.org