Key points

  • Kempsey Shire Council has prepared a Biodiversity Strategy 2022(PDF, 6MB) to guide the management of biodiversity in the shire. The strategy was adopted at the ordinary Council meeting on 15 February 2022.

  • Kempsey Shire is home to more than 2,500 plant and animal species, including 240 species identified as being threatened with extinction.

  • You can follow Council's future progress on actions listed in the Biodiversity Strategy by reading our Operational Plan and Annual Report - see Council publications.

What is biodiversity?

Biological diversity (or biodiversity) is the variety of all life forms on earth and can be explored at three levels:

  1. Genetic diversity – the variety of genetic information contained in individual plants, animals and micro-organisms
  2. Species diversity – the variety of species
  3. Ecosystem diversity – the variety of habitats, ecological communities and ecological processes.

Dynamic and constantly changing, biodiversity occurs in all land, aquatic and marine environments on earth.

Biodiversity can increase through genetic change and evolutionary processes, or decrease in response to threats such as habitat loss and/or change, invasive species and diseases. 

Why is biodiversity important?

Biodiversity is important to all species (including humans) because we depend on the biological life support systems that different types of ecosystems provide.

Biodiversity improves the functioning of ecosystems, which in turn provides humans with four types of services, known as ‘ecosystem services’, that support healthy lives. Ecosystems with high biodiversity can process nutrients faster and more consistently.

Biodiversity in Kempsey Shire

Kempsey Shire encompasses 337,070 hectares on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. Its location, size and topography mean that Kempsey Shire spans both subtropical and temperate climatic zones, and this influences the unique flora and fauna that are found here.

The shire’s distinct and diverse biodiversity contains more than 2,500 plant and animal species, including:

  • 240 species identified as threatened with extinction
  • 14 threatened ecological communities, 72 threatened flora species and 152 threatened fauna species listed under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (NSW) and/or the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)
  • two threatened fauna species listed under the Fisheries Management Act 1994 (NSW).

The Thunggutti/Dunghutti people have a longstanding connection with the land in the Macleay Valley. Biodiversity values are central to the Thunggutti/Dunghutti people’s spirituality, use of plants and animals for food and medicines, care for the land and passing on of cultural knowledge.

What is a Biodiversity Strategy?

A Biodiversity Strategy is a document that:

  • identifies the biodiversity values found in a particular area
  • describes the key threats to those biodiversity values
  • outlines a range of priorities and actions to protect those biodiversity values.

Kempsey Shire Biodiversity Strategy

The Kempsey Shire Biodiversity Strategy 2022(PDF, 6MB) aims to balance the ecological needs of the natural environment and the community's preferences with Council’s jurisdictional capabilities and resources to provide strategic delivery of environmental management activities in Kempsey Shire.

The Biodiversity Strategy describes Council’s vision, objectives, biodiversity priorities and actions for managing biodiversity across the local government area. While Council must meet all legislative requirements, several key pieces of biodiversity legislation and policies have influenced the strategy's development - see Key Legislation on page 7 of the strategy.

How will the Biodiversity Strategy be implemented?

The Biodiversity Strategy identifies Council's biodiversity priorities under five key themes: Protect, Maintain, Restore, Connect and Engage. The objective of each theme will help to address the key threats to biodiversity in Kempsey Shire.

The strategy also lists the actions Council will take, timeframes, required funding and potential funding sources to ensure that identified goals will be realised.

Actions from the Biodiversity Strategy will be integrated into Council’s four-year Delivery Program and implemented through Council’s annual Operational Plan. Considerations such as external funding opportunities, internal resourcing requirements, Council's priorities and biodiversity goals will help determine which actions are undertaken each year.

While the current strategy will be influenced by future studies, program development and delivery, it is anticipated that 80% of actions will be completed in five years. Each year, actions completed under the Biodiversity Strategy will be reported in Council’s Annual Report.

The Biodiversity Strategy will continue to be implemented and developed over time and will be reviewed every five years.