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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Lismore considers rate rise to fund biodiversity

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The Lismore City Council will decide tomorrow whether to apply for a special rate to raise $500,000 to fund a biodiversity management strategy.

If approved, the BMS would provide a range of regulatory and non-regulatory tools to manage biodiversity in the local government area.

Funds raised by the special rate would be used exclusively for the implementation of the BMS, which includes building partnerships with the community and measures to protect and enhance biodiversity on public and private land in both urban and rural landscapes.

The council’s ecologist Theresa Adams said the BMS would deliver cleaner roadsides, assist landholders and community groups to manage pests and weeds, assist management of bushland and riversides on rural land, provide more opportunities for community involvement through events, workshops and field days, and provide more recreational opportunities in well-managed urban bushland reserves, such as walking tracks

Key actions include the creation of a Biodiversity Development Assessment Framework for the assessment of development applications and the Implementation of the Rural Landholder Initiative in partnership with Southern Cross University and Lismore’s agricultural community.

That program is based on creating incentives to assist and encourage landholders to manage biodiversity on their properties.

The strategy would also implement the Urban Green Corridors Plan to enhance Lismore’s urban environment by linking existing bushland and riparian areas, and provide education programs tailored to the community, schools and industry groups.

The proposed rate rise would apply to three rating categories – residential, rural residential and farmland, but would exclude businesses as they incurred a rate increase in 2013.

The rate rise would be based on the NSW Valuer General’s land values, with the average urban resident paying $25.43 per year; the average rural resident paying $31.68 per year; and the average farmland resident paying $50.63 per year.

The average cost for farmland is higher due to the higher average land value.

Staff have recommended that the councillors adopt the strategy and apply for the rate rise.

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  1. The term “biodiversity” is to encourarage all forms of life to grow. Not just human life.
    The word management means to restrict according to rules.
    The term “biodiversity management” is really a contradicticion in words if we want biodiversity.

  2. Here we go again. Lismore Council is dying in debt when the mayor at the last election said no increased debt. I suggest the Eco does a story on Lismore Council debt. Farmers pay annual fees to Far North Coast Weeds, now we have council wanting replicate what they. More and More red tape.

  3. I would have thought that, the mere consideration of this tax proves the incompetence of Lismore Council to be able to manage environmental protection, after all haven’t they been responsible for maintaining a viable environment within their jurisdiction ?
    And if they haven’t managed this so far,…..what makes them think more money will help ? The money that they ‘invested’ in sub-prime mortgages in the USA illustrates the competence with which this council manages the millions payed in rates. Oh sure, we do have some ‘artistic’ roundabouts and a dilapidated boat in the rapidly decaying CBD, a municipal baths that no-one wants to use and a newly refurbished town-hall that would be more suited and better utilised as a basketball court.
    This council abdicates it’s responsibilities for public works to contractors, who have a vested interest in their works failing, in order to redo time and time again, what should have been constructed properly the first time. This is illustrated perfectly in the state of the roads that disintegrate on an annual basis. Although council always blames the rain for this situation there are roads in soggy old England, still in use, that were build by the Romans two thousand years ago.
    Money is no cure for incompetence.


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