State of the Environment Report



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State of the Environment Report

June 2010


Introduction


This report is the second document of its kind prepared by the Hobart City Council (HCC), to reflect on the state of the environment in the City of Hobart. The first was the State of the Environment Report (SoE Report) 1998.

SoE reporting is a process that provides an indication of the status of, and trends in, environmental and other relevant conditions resulting from either natural variability or human-induced (anthropogenic) pressures.

This report is not a mandatory requirement for Tasmanian councils, as it is for the State and Australian Governments. Notwithstanding this, the HCC has prepared the report to contribute to a better understanding of environmental conditions.

Throughout Australia, organisations are using a variety of frameworks to monitor environmental change and track their progress towards ecologically sustainable outcomes and goals. SoE reporting provides one such framework. The themes used in this report are similar to ones used in the past, i.e. Atmosphere, Biodiversity, Land, Inland Waters and Wetlands, Coastal, Estuarine and Marine.

These reflect past Australian and Tasmanian SoE Reports (but not the recently published State of the Environment Tasmania 2009].

This report does not follow the structure or themes of the Council’s 1998 report or structure. For example, there is no part devoted to “Context” that included the “Social Environment” in 1998, and there is no chapter on the “Built Environment”.

This report’s structure and the content, including the selected indicators, reflect a number of factors, such as:


  • The changes since 1998 in the Council’s own corporate structure and functions (such as its activities in the sphere of community development)

  • Council’s greater range of communication and consultation mechanisms including an expanded annual report, a very active web site and the quarterly “Capital City News”

  • The availability and cost of gathering data

  • Water and Sewage reform

This may be the last of such a formal report given the underlying questions as to the need for a municipal area base SoE Report (given the one produced for the State) and the recognition of the greater complexity of both governance and the assessment of performance.

In addition there will be indicators that may be added or deleted over time in response to changed understanding and awareness.

In this context and having regard to some of the intrinsic issues involved in the preparation of a State of the Environment Report, a review of environmental data collection is recommended as part of the report (see 1.4 Future Direction of State of the Environment Reporting).

Council welcomes feedback on this issue and the document itself.



Contents


Introduction

Introduction 1

Contents 2

List of Figures 3

List of Tables 4

Abbreviations 5

Background 8

1.1 Environmental Management in the City of Hobart 8

1.2 Towards Environmental Sustainability 9

1.3 Structure of the Report 10

1.4 Future Direction State of Environment Reporting 11

Atmosphere 13

1.5 Description 13

1.5.1 Greenhouse Gas Emissions 13

1.5.2 Monitoring 13

1.5.3 Pressures on Air Quality 14

1.6 Governance 14

1.7 Relevant Strategic Plan Outcomes 15

1.8 Core Indicators 15

1.9 The HCC Response 20

1.9.1 HCC Projects, Works and Maintenance 21

1.9.2 Community Engagement 22

1.9.3 Data Collection 22

1.9.4 Regulation and Control 22

1.10 Relevant Sources of Information 23

Biodiversity 23

1.11 Description 23

1.11.1 Wellington Park 24

1.11.2 Pressures on Biodiversity in the City of Hobart 25

1.12 Governance 27

1.13 Relevant Strategic Plan Outcomes 28

1.14 Core Indicators 28

1.15 The HCC Response 31

1.15.1 HCC Projects, Works and Maintenance 31

1.15.2 Community Engagement 32

1.15.3 Data Collection 32

1.15.4 Regulation and Control 32

1.16 Relevant Sources of Information 33

Land 34


1.17 Description 34

1.17.1 Geomorphology of the Hobart City of Hobart 34

1.17.2 Geology and Soils 35

1.17.3 Geo-conservation in the City of Hobart 36

1.17.4 Land Use Zoning 37

1.17.5 Solid Waste 37

1.17.6 Pressures on the City of Hobart’s Land 38

1.18 Governance 39

1.19 Relevant Strategic Plan Outcomes 39

1.20 Core Indicator 39

1.21 The HCC Response 40

1.21.1 HCC Projects, Works and Maintenance 40

1.21.2 Community Engagement 41

1.21.3 Data Collection 42

1.21.4 Regulation and Control 42

1.22 Relevant Sources of Information 43

Inland Waters and Wetlands 46

1.23 Description 46

1.23.1 The City of Hobart Creeks 46

1.23.2 Water Consumption 48

1.23.3 Pressures on City of Hobart’s Creeks 49

1.24 Governance 50

1.25 Relevant Strategic Plan Outcomes 51

1.26 Core Indicator 52

1.27 The HCC Response 52

1.27.1 HCC Projects, Works and Maintenance 52

1.27.2 Community Engagement 53

1.27.3 Data Collection 53

1.28 Relevant Sources of Information 54

Coastal, Estuarine and Marine 55

1.29 Description 55

1.29.1 Derwent Estuary Program 56

1.29.2 Pressures on the City of Hobart’s Coastal Zone 56

1.30 Governance 59

1.31 Relevant Strategic Plan Outcomes 60

1.32 Core Indicators 60

1.33 The HCC Response 63

1.33.1 HCC Projects, Works and Maintenance 63

1.33.2 Community Engagement 64

1.33.3 Data Collection 64

1.34 Relevant Sources of Information 64

Appendix 65

Appendix A - City of Hobart Vital Signs 65

Appendix B - Climate Change Policy 66

Appendix C - Hobart City of Hobart Weather 66

Appendix D - Threatened Species 67

Appendix E - Declared Weeds 69

Appendix F - Dog Exercise Areas 71

Appendix G - A Look Back in Time – History of Water Supply in the City of Hobart 73





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