Saving the bush in Litchfield

With a view to preserving and enhancing its unique bushland, the Shire of Litchfield in the Northern Territory has appointed a Community Vegetation Management Officer. The part time position was created at the instigation of a local Landcare group and is funded by Save the Bush.

Botanist and author, John Brock was appointed to the position by a panel comprising representatives of Landcare, Save the Bush and Shire President Gerry Wood. John lists his job priorities as community education and promoting vegetation management around the Shire. In addition, he will help develop vegetation policy guidelines for Council.

"A lot of land is marginal as far as economic viability is concerned but of great natural value for supporting diverse vegetation and wildlife," he said.

John will be advising Council on a range of issues, responding to residents' concerns and advising Council on policy relating to plantings, land clearing, sub divisions and industrial and commercial zoning. Where conflicts of interest between possible land uses arise, John is well positioned to inform the discussion as to the best uses or ways of minimising potential conflict.

The Shire benefits through improved integrated planning, with natural areas and values taken into account in the planning process. By maintaining and preserving existing natural features including wetlands, rainforest, mangroves and watercourses, as well as the escarpment areas, residents can enjoy a more aesthetic natural environment and local industry benefits from increased tourism.

According to John Brock, the opportunity to preserve and enhance features, rather than pursue an laissez faire approach which could see many of them lost or compromised, is widely supported by the community since its natural beauty is the reason many people have chosen to live in Litchfield in the first place.

For further information contact John Brock, telephone (08) 8983 1912.