Endangered bushland is not ‘significant’ to Council

A sign erected by the former Gosford Council near Umina Oval called Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland a natural treasureA sign erected by the former Gosford Council near Umina Oval called Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland a natural treasure

Endangered bushland on the Peninsula has not been recognised as regionally significant, despite being gazetted as endangered at a State level.

Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland has been gazetted under Threatened Species legislation as an “ecologically endangered community”.

It only exists to any significant extent on the Peninsula and is one of the smallest endangered woodland communities in the State. A list of regionally significant vegetation adopted at the last meeting of Central Coast Council included 23 vegetation communities and sub-communities but did not include Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland. Council staff confirmed that the woodland was not included on the register. Mayor Cr Jane Smith said that the woodland was not currently on the significant vegetation register but that it was defined as significant. “It is not on that list but it is an Ecologically Endangered Community so it does have protection through other legislation and I think that is important to understand.

“I would like it to be included a bit more prominently in our policy,” Cr Smith said. Cr Richard Mehrtens, whose ward includes the Peninsula, has called for it to be included on the register. The Ettymalong Creek Landcare Group called for the list of regionally significant vegetation to be expanded to include all ecologically endangered communities in the Central Coast including but not limited to the Umina woodland, Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest of the NSW Northern Coast Sydney Basin and SE corner bioregions, Swamp Schlerophyll Forest on Coastal Floodplains of the NSW North Coast Sydney Basin and SE Corner Bioregions and Narrabeen Coastal Blackbutt Forest. Cr Smith said she was hopeful that Central Coast Council would eventually have an urban forest policy.

“It is probably a bit premature but I am getting emails about Council building an urban forest policy including public land and street plantings,” she said. “I know our staff are working on that kind of policy and I think that is a really important thing.”

SOURCE: Central Coast Council Agenda Item 2.2, 26 Feb 2018 Interview, 27 Feb 2018 Jane Smith, Central Coast Council Reporter: Jackie Pearson

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