Retention of trees and natural areas in urbanizing landscapes, loss of native vegetation on private property, continued clearing for development and habitat fragmentation featured among the list of main issues facing Local Government in the Perth NRM and WALGA 2017 survey. WALGA provides advice and assistance on a range of issues relating to biodiversity, including facilitation of sharing the best practice approaches via Environmental Events.

Numerous resources were developed and published via WALGA’s grant funded Biodiversity Programs that ran from 2001 to 2014 under various names, all dedicated to helping Local Governments develop Local Biodiversity Strategies. Throughout its time these programs provided Local Governments with expert and technical advice, data, and mapping to inform biodiversity planning and management, decision support tools and direct financial assistance.

Celebrating Thirteen Years of Action for Biodiversity describes the WALGA’s Biodiversity Program’s many achievements over the thirteen years of operation. Many of the tools and resources developed during this period remain relevant and can be accessed below.

Projects

Local Government Herbicide and Integrated Weed Management Working Group

Local Governments undertake weed control in natural areas, road reserves, parks and urban landscapes in order to protect native vegetation and ecosystems, reduce bushfire risk, reduce damage to infrastructure, and meet community expectations for the amenity and aesthetics of local areas.  Local Governments endevour to apply the principles of Integrated Weed Management, which involves the coordinated use of a variety of control methods, reducing reliance on herbicides alone, to increase the chances of successful control or eradication. 

A growing number of Local Governments are seeking advice from WALGA on weed control and the use of herbicides, following increasing interest by local community members in exposure to chemicals. 
 
In April 2021, WALGA established the Local Government Herbicide and Integrated Weed Management Working Group. The purpose of the Working Group is to build the capacity of Local Government by sharing information and addressing knowledge gaps to deliver effective weed management programs.

Local Government Survey of Chemical and Alternative Weed Control Treatments

A key priority of the Working Group is to gather information on Local Government trials of chemical and alternative weed control treatments.  There is a need to better understand the cost, effectiveness and risk of available weed control treatments, including pre-emergent, post-emergent and organic herbicides, and alternative methods such as steam, manual or mechanical treatments.

The outcomes of this project will assist individual Local Governments to make informed decisions on weed management approaches that are most suitable for their local context.

Please complete the survey template available here and return to the Environment Policy Team by Thursday, 30 September.

New members of the Working Group are welcome.  For more information, please contact Melanie Davies, Biodiversity and Sustainability Project Officer or call (08) 9213 2000.


Resources

NAIA Templates and NAIA database

Four Natural Area Initial Assessment (NAIA) templates were developed to help Local Governments assess site-specific ecological values, biodiversity significance and threats.  The templates mean data collection and assessment is consistent with regional scientific standards. A database is available for Local Governments to store the data they collected using the NAIA Templates (Perth Metropolitan Area) . NAIA Templates for the South West Biodiversity Project area can be downloaded here.

Biodiversity Planning Guidelines for Local Governments

This document was developed to help Local Governments plan for the retention, protection and management of local biodiversity. Local Governments will follow a four-phase local biodiversity planning process resulting in the preparation of a Local Biodiversity Strategy.  
The Local Biodiversity Strategy will then guide:
  • the integration of biodiversity consideration into land use planning;
  • an action plan for managing biodiversity on Local Government land;
  • a strategy to provide incentives for conservation on private land.
Addendum to the Local Government Biodiversity Planning Guidelines for the South West Biodiversity Project area can be found here.

Guidelines for Bushland Management

This document was developed to help Local Governments to prioritise management actions for natural areas and to ensure that this management is in line with biodiversity principles. By prioritising local reserves for management actions, Local Governments will:
  • Manage natural areas for long-term sustainability;
  • Justify funding requests on the basis of sound biodiversity conservation principles; and
  • Use resources effectively.

Additional tools and resources include: 

If you would like to access a copy of these, email  environment@walga.asn.au or call (08) 9213 2000.