Community engagement and research

From July to October 2023, we asked the community to help shape the way Council and community manage and interact with biodiversity in Banyule.

We received 331 contributions through an online survey and in-person activities with our Community and Environmental Friends of Groups, internal and external stakeholders and the Community Biodiversity Working Group.

As a result of your feedback, Council decided to move to a long term vision for biodiversity management and shift from a short term plan to a long term strategy, with an action plan to be updated and reviewed more regularly.

What we heard

During consultation, the community told us we should:

  • partner with and support environmental community groups to manage biodiversity threats
  • provide biodiversity education to increase community literacy
  • deliver biodiversity engagement programs
  • develop an effective biodiversity monitoring program and provide transparent reporting on biodiversity trends
  • improve resourcing of Council biodiversity sectors to provide meaningful engagement programs and biodiversity support to our community.

Internal and external stakeholder told us we should:

  • effectively manage threats to biodiversity on public land and advocate for better biodiversity management in the private sector
  • increase biodiversity literacy and value internally
  • appropriately resource biodiversity across Council so that Council can be a more effective biodiversity manager
  • develop toolkits for teams to support better biodiversity outcomes outside of traditional biodiversity spaces
  • monitor biodiversity to inform current and future management.

View the full consultation report.

During 2023, we also engaged an Environmental Consultant to review Banyule’s current biodiversity management practices and programs. They benchmarked Banyule's practices against other industry practitioners and made recommendations on industry best practices for Council to consider in the new Biodiversity Plan.

View the full Biodiversity Benchmarking Report report (due to document file size, appendix 1 is available on request).

The key recommendations from the report include:


What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity can be defined as the diversity of all living things.

In Banyule we define biodiversity as the wide variety of local plant, animal, fungal and microorganism communities that make up and support the function of our local ecosystems. All of these species and organisms work together in an intricate and complex way to support the health and wellbeing of all living things.

Biodiversity in Banyule

Banyule is fortunate to have many important conservation reserves, wildlife reserves and green open spaces that support our local flora and fauna. Our community feel connected to these places and care about how they are managed and protected.

We can all play a role in supporting our local biodiversity.

Engagement and development

Engagement stages

Stage 1: January – December 2023

Internal stakeholder and community engagement

We asked internal stakeholders what they want to see for biodiversity management in Banyule.

The Biodiversity Community Working Group were involved at this stage to help draft community-facing actions.

We also ran a survey and a number of community workshops from July to September 2023.

Stage 2: July – December 2023

Research and benchmarking

We reviewed our current Biodiverstiy Plan and had a detailed Biodiversity Bench-marking Report developed by an Environmental Consultant. The report details a review of Banyule’s current biodiversity management practices and programs. It also made recommendations on best practice biodiversity management and programs for Council to consider when developing the Biodiversity Strategy.

Stage 3: January – July 2024

Development and review

We will now be developing the draft Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Once this document has been developed, it will be reviewed internally by the teams assigned to each action and then it will be made available to the community for public comment.


Biodiversity Community Working Group

In January and February 2023, we asked community to become part of a Biodiversity Community Working Group. Eight community members were selected to be part of the CWG and help shape Council's response to biodiversity management.

Community members involved in the Biodiversity Working Group have an interest in biodiversity and hold two of the following:

  • Professional experience working in the environment industry
  • Membership of a community environment group
  • Experience working or volunteering with community groups, environment organisations or government
  • Experience as an environment advocate or leader
  • Experience in planning and/or community development and/or policy development
  • Experience in environmental education