NCC: Secure Funding and Resources

Obtain more reliable and long term funding and resources to implement priority NRM projects.

Why it is Important?

With adequate resourcing, the scale and impact of environmental work in our local landscape can be expanded, building on existing momentum. Even with a strong volunteer commitment, consistent funding is necessary to meet project implementation costs and provide ongoing security to continue project work.

NCC: Social and Environmental Planning

Incorporate social and environmental values and costs into current planning processes.

Why it is Important?

Planning that protects and considers social and environmental values and costs results in a more transparent and robust process which better reflects the wide range of community values. It can identify more balanced outcomes, with greater community support.

NCC: Collaborative Planning Processes

Promote existing planning processes that take a collaborative approach, and incorporate their priorities into working and strategic tools for implementation.

Why it is Important?

There are a range of existing plans and planning processes relevant to natural resource management in our area (eg. local government planning scheme, Wet Tropics Plan for People and Country). Planning organisations can use these to develop working and strategic plans.

NCC: Youth Engagement in Our Environment

Proactively encourage and engage youth in environmental initiatives, including planting, planning and pollution.

Why it is Important?

Engaging youth in environmental initiatives brings benefits at a personal level, to the wider community and our environment. It can facilitate the sharing of knowledge, skills and motivation necessary to tackle some of the big issues facing our region.

NCC: Chemical Usage Awareness and Education

Raise awareness of the impact of chemical use on local wildlife species, including insects and frogs.

Why it is Important?

There is increasing concern about the impacts of chemical use – from both industrial activities and households – on local wildlife species. A comprehensive program to collect more data is needed, particularly for vulnerable species like frogs and bees, so actions can be taken to reduce the threats.

Examples of Local Action

  • Conduct more toxicology testing of sick frogs to determine what’s causing the illness.
  • Conduct insect surveys to determine changes to populations.
  • Survey beekeepers to identify problems with bee health.

NCC: Habitat Connectivity that Incorporates Climate Change

Plan and implement habitat connectivity projects in high priority areas for wildlife movement, that consider likely impacts from climate change.

Why it is Important?

Improving connectivity can help wildlife species move safely through the landscape, including already threatened species like the Southern Cassowary. This becomes even more important as all species cope with the effects of changing climatic conditions, including more severe weather events, rising sea levels, changes to fruiting patterns and increasing temperatures.

NCC: Managing the Impact of Dogs on Wildlife

Implement a range of strategies to minimise the impact of dogs on local wildlife species, including provisions in local planning schemes, education and awareness and regulation.

Why it is Important?

Dogs can have a significant impact on our unique wildlife species, including some that are already facing significant threats like the Southern Cassowary, sea birds and turtles. Responsible pet ownership – keeping dogs secure within fenced yards, walking dogs on leads, avoiding taking dogs into natural habitat areas and following local government pet ownership requirements – can minimise these impacts. Regulatory options – such as preventing dogs in high value habitat areas – are also required to better protect our native wildlife.

Examples of Local Action

  • Identify areas of important cassowary habitat and use local government planning regulations to prevent people owning or taking dogs into those areas.
  • Establish dog-free areas along the foreshore to protect nesting sea birds and turtles.
  • Identify high conservation zones and designate them dog free (eg. foreshore areas with wildlife habitat and offshore marine parks, such as Garners Beach, Brookes Beach, Narragon Beach, Clump Headland). In areas adjacent to these high conservation areas, dogs should be allowed only on leads, while in urban areas with lower conservation values, designated off leash areas for dogs should be provided. Clear communication and signage is required to identify these zones.

NCC: Feral Pig Management

Implement coordinated, strategic feral pig control programs, that are informed by local knowledge.

Why it is Important?

Feral pigs cause enormous damage to agricultural industries and natural systems in the Northern Cassowary Coast. It is vital their numbers are managed to reduce their impacts, however local knowledge is needed to ensure the best outcomes. In our environment, we need better understanding of the use of pig traps so they don’t impact on non-target species, such as cassowaries.

NCC: Reduce Waste

Reduce the impact of waste on our natural environment through actions like waste reduction programs, community clean ups and supporting circular economies.

Why it is Important?

Like many places around the world, waste – such as plastic straws, coffee cups and single use plastics – impacts on the health and visual amenity of our natural environment and communities. A multi-faceted approach can help to minimise the generation of waste and the impacts it has, including: 1) reducing reliance on single-use plastics, 2) limiting the creation of waste, 3) involving the community in regular clean ups and 4) moving towards a more circular economy (which focuses on as much reuse and recycling as possible, to create a closed resource loop).

Examples of Local Action

  • Hold beach clean up days and involve the local community.

NCC: Protecting Habitat

Increase the protection of remnant and connecting habitat, through incentives for stewardship.

Why it is Important?

Habitat loss and fragmentation are some of the key threatening processes to biodiversity in our Local Landscape, including the Southern Cassowary. Protecting existing habitat, as well as areas which provide connection between, is vital for the survival and health of many of our wildlife species.

Examples of local action

  • Establish stewardship programs to encourage protection of habitat.
  • Strengthen local government planning regulations to support the protection of important habitat.