Blue Mountains News

Council establishes Wildlife Recovery Mayoral Reference Group

Source: Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 8 Jul 2020
This possum – Stirling – was rescued by a Blue Mountains WIRES branch support officer when he was just over 100 days old. Stirling’s mother had died as a result of burns sustained in the bush fires in December. He was released back into bushland last month
A Wildlife Recovery Mayoral Reference Group (WRMRG) will be established in response to the long term drought and recent bush fires that have affected the City’s biodiversity.

In response to community concerns for the welfare of native wildlife, the WRMRG will investigate strategies to mitigate effects of the devastating 2019-20 bush fire season and prolonged drought.

While the WRMRG will not make decisions for Council, it will advise Council on potential strategies that can be implemented to coordinate community-led initiatives, with a view to reducing further impacts on wildlife, now and in the future.

“Council and the Blue Mountains community are committed to protecting and supporting the ongoing recovery of biodiversity in the Blue Mountains,” Mayor Mark Greenhill said.

“The bush fires burnt over 80 per cent of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and the establishment of a Mayoral Reference Group will assist Council and the community in working together, to investigate effective paths to recovery.”

The WRMRG will include experts from WIRES, Blue Mountains Conservation Society, Crown Lands, Landcare and Bushcare volunteers, Blue Mountains City Council, National Parks and Wildlife Service, and other wildlife and ecological scientists.

The Wildlife Recovery Mayoral Reference Group will facilitate three workshops within 12 months of its formation, to:

  • Review the impacts of the 2019-20 bush fires on the wildlife of the City of the Blue Mountains.
  • Evaluate the post-fire response by the community and Council, to support wildlife impacted by the fires.
  • Provide recommendations on how to improve and coordinate the often community-led wildlife support response for current and future fire events.

Councillor Shae Foenander, who will Chair the Group in the Mayor’s absence, said: “It is a privilege to be part of this important new reference group.

“The recent bush fires played a tragic toll on our wildlife and this forum will not only help recovery in this area, but set up strategies to co-ordinate recovery efforts for our wildlife in the future.

“We must not forget that our wildlife lost their homes and they too, deserve to be included in the recovery process.”

 
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