Urban Ecologicial Restoration, Rehabilitation and Mitigation - Sydney Case Study


Most local councils in the greater Sydney have substantial budgets to fund the management (including restoration) of large urban natural areas.

Bush regeneration works are largely focused on bushland weed control, principally along urban boundaries and along creeks and are carried out by employed or contracted specialist natural area management teams as well as volunteers.

Mix of paid staff and volunteers.
A 2007 report published by the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators found that the total labour value of bush regeneration work along the mid-east coast of Australia (principally Sydney and north coast NSW), was $18 million per year. Paid staff contributed 71 % of the hours of work achieve, while volunteers contributed 29% of the work (although they made up 90% of the workforce).

Bushcare programs.
Volunteer bush regeneration programs (Bushcare http://www.bushcare.org.au/) have grown in the Sydney area from small beginnings in the 1960s to a burgeoning workforce of 7,542 volunteers in 2012.

A 2012 survey update of community volunteers in the greater Sydney area found that among these people who worked as part of small groups that meet on a regular basis - 90% of these were involved in bushcare, bush regeneration or tree planting, 7% undertook community nursery work, 2% did flora and fauna surveys and 1% water quality monitoring. Regional bushcare exchanges across the Sydney region and further afield into typical Landcare country are increasing in popularity.

Volunteer involvement in other environmental care work is also growing and has seen an increase in volunteer numbers from over 14,000 in 2005 to over 26,000 in 2012.

EXAMPLES OF THREE (OF >30) SYDNEY COUNCILS WITH NATURAL AREA MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS:

Sutherland Council:
Bushcare: http://www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Community/Volunteering/Bushcare-Volunteerss
Other: http://www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Outdoors/Environment/Plants-and-Bushland

Hornsby Council:
Bushcare: http://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/environment/trees-plants-and-bushland/bushcare
Other: http://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/environment/trees-plants-and-bushland/bushland-and-biodiversity

Ku-ring-gai Council:
Bushcare: http://www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/Current_projects_priorities/Key_priorities/Environment_sustainability/Our_community_programs/Bushcare
Other: http://www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/Current_projects_priorities/Key_priorities/Environment_sustainability