2020 BANKSIA GOVERNMENT AWARD

OUR WINNERS

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BANKSIA FOUNDATION

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2020 BANKSIA GOVERNMENT AWARD

 

Environment and Liveability Strategy by Sunshine Coast Council, QLD

As the Sunshine Coast transitions to a city-region, we are well positioned to respond to the challenges and opportunities for our future which have the potential to impact on the health of our environment, liveability, and resilience.

The Environment and Liveability Strategy (ELS) was developed to provide a clear vision and forward plan to 2041, focused on four drivers of change: increasing population, changing climate, economic growth and emerging technologies.

By planning ahead, understanding the emerging risks, and making sustainable choices at the right time, our region can look forward to a healthy, resilient and sustainable future. These choices are made together with the community, who told us they valued:
1. Retaining the distinct character
2. Protecting natural assets
3. Finding the balance
4. Being sustainable
5. Community involvement.

The process for developing the strategy provided a much-needed model and lessons for integrated, long-term planning to achieve sustainability, resilience, and liveability in times of unprecedented change.

The strategy replaced six key strategies which sought to shape growth in the region across: affordable living, biodiversity, waterways and coastal management, open space, social infrastructure, and climate change.

The ELS builds on these strong foundations and addresses identified gaps, and positions the organisational business in a fresh context. It also provides an integrated approach across multiple themes and 26 Transformational Actions to achieve multiple ecological, economic, socio-cultural outcomes. Integration of three sections within one strategy ensures we don’t plan in isolation, and highlights the importance of the relationship our built environment and lifestyle have with our natural environment.

The ELS provides the policy blueprint to enable our Sunshine Coast to continue to be one of the most liveable and resilient regions in Australia by:
• Recognising the natural environment as the foundation.
• Embedding liveability, affordability and sustainability as fundamental to navigating and securing our future.
• Being forward looking and proactively planning for climate hazard risk.
• Enabling council and our community to proactively collaborate, plan and implement transformational change.

The ELS exemplifies our region’s forward thinking and real actions – taking advantage of opportunities today, while looking ahead to 2041 and beyond, to create a legacy that will benefit our community for many years. The Implementation Plan explains how council’s contributions to the strategic directions are being implemented and delivered through an integrated, targeted and transformative approach.

Council is investing in and delivering an extensive range of projects, programs and services, in partnership with dedicated volunteers, community organisations, and researchers to preserve our outstanding natural environment and ensure the region remains a great place to live. Major initiatives include:
• Australian first partnership to protect and manage critical areas of the Maroochy catchment floodplain to ensure climate resilience from rising sea levels.
• Endorsing a Biosphere nomination to have our region’s sustainability story internationally recognised. • Proactively planning to manage emerging coastal hazard risk.
• Expanding our green spaces by securing over 665 hectares of new lands for conservation and recreation.

This strategy exemplifies our region’s forward thinking and real actions – taking advantage of opportunities today, while looking ahead to 2041 to create a legacy for our community.

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