Our Plan for the Northern Tablelands

Our strong and diverse communities, special natural landscapes and productive agricultural industries make this Local Landscape an area we are proud to call home.

By working together we can manage and enhance these values; we can maintain healthy waterways and forests and make sure our farmlands and communities remain productive and strong. We can help build a healthy landscape, so our families and children can continue to enjoy all our area has to offer.

Our three top priorities

1. Biosecurity

We will minimise the threat of pests and weeds on our natural and agricultural landscapes through effective planning and action.

Weeds and feral animals are a major problem in our Local Landscape. They place a huge economic burden on our farming industries, through the damage they cause and the effort required to control them. They affect the growth of native plant species, reduce habitat for native animals as well as predating on them, and they increase the fire risk.

Some animal species, like the exotic ants invading our area, also have the potential to affect our lifestyles and daily activities.

Being able to recognise the threat of weeds and feral animals before they become widespread gives us a much greater chance of controlling or even eradicating them. We already have a strong foundation in place to work on, with effective groups, important skills and planning frameworks; we have the opportunity for really positive biosecurity outcomes in our Local Landscape.

 “If these ants (yellow crazy ants and electric ants) get away we can kiss our forests, native animals and farming goodbye. Even gardening and playing in house yards will be lost.”

Examples of our priority actions include:

• Conduct comprehensive eradication of Yellow Crazy Ants and Electric Ants.
• Conduct a coordinated and extensive pig trapping and baiting program.

2. Biodiversity

We will improve the condition and connectivity of our native habitat to build resilience against threats, including climate change.

While our Local Landscape has some truly amazing natural values, we know that awareness and active management of these areas to reduce threats will enhance their overall health, resilience and adaptability.

Activities like weed control, stock management and replanting priority areas can all help achieve this. Our waterways and riparian areas are important in their own right for their biodiversity values, but they can also be a focus for restoring connections between forested areas.

Using revegetation and other management techniques to connect forest fragments to larger protected areas will help sustain our forests in the future. We are fortunate to have information and scientific knowledge about potential impacts of climate change on our natural areas now, so it can be taken into account when planning biodiversity and restoration work.

Examples of our priority actions include:

• Protect existing areas of natural forest and revegetating, particularly in areas improving connectivity.
• Revegetate riparian areas (Tinaroo and Granite Creeks, Barron River) to improve habitat and provide healthier waterways.
• Develop education programs to encourage increased habitat and biodiversity outcomes on private land.

“Native plants are the basic requirement of native animals.”

3. Community Values

We will work to ensure our community understands and appreciates the environmental, cultural, economic and recreational values of our natural areas.

Communicating clear, positive, environmental education messages within our community can improve general understanding and awareness, which eventually translates through to on-ground action.

Our children are the next generation of caretakers for our Local Landscape, so we believe it is important to involve them in the process of learning and discovering about our natural environment.

We also know that targeted education programs in areas of high biodiversity value can provide the impetus for positive, voluntary management and protection of these areas, with significant environmental and social outcomes.

Examples of our priority actions include:

• Develop a school and community environmental education program.

Other priorities:

Within our Local Landscape, we also think it is important to maintain sustainable, resilient and diverse industries to support our communities and the environment. We would like our landscape to be a matrix of connected native forests, with productive agricultural areas.

For more detail on the priority actions identified by the community for our Local Landscape, click on this link.