Read the Draft Biodiversity Strategy - Healing Country Together

How was the Draft Biodiversity Strategy developed?

Partnering with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, we held extensive community consultation in late 2023.

More than 100 surveys were completed, more than 20 detailed submissions were made, 30 community members representing active community groups attended workshop discussions and more than 70 City of Ballarat employees contributed to ideas workshops.

After reviewing the feedback, we asked ourselves - 'Where are we at, and where do we need to be?'.

To help answer this question, we researched the latest science and reviewed other studies and government positions.

We then developed an approach designed to move our community and organisation forward, to help improve biodiversity across Ballarat and the broader region.

The community consultation helped guide the development of a number of key recommendations.

We now encourage you to provide feedback on the Draft Strategy.

Please review the Draft Ballarat Biodiversity Strategy and answer the survey question below to let us know your thoughts.

We would also love to see your photos of the natural environment in the Ballarat region. Please note: All photos submitted will be considered for inclusion into the final Strategy.

To find out more about what our community said, please read the document below or check out the video (right) of what young people contributed at the Biodiversity Youth Forum.

The Ballarat Community are very knowledgeable, passionate and active when it comes to the environment as demonstrated by the creation of the Yarrowee River Trail and Woowookarung Regional Park and the abundant active ‘Friends of’ groups in the municipality. To get the most out of community consultation Mosaic Lab were engaged to help develop and facilitate an engagement strategy.

In July 2023 the City of Ballarat, Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Aboriginal Corporation, and community members met to discuss and co-design how the Strategy would be developed. From this meeting, it became clear that Traditional Owner and Youth input would be critical inputs. A Strategic Engagement Plan was developed and between September and December 2023, the following engagement was undertaken.

A ‘Conversation Kit’ was developed that asked the community to have a discussion with their friends, family, schools, colleagues etc. about the environment, what they valued, and how to improve it. Additionally, City of Ballarat MySay included a survey asking for priority areas and ideas on how to better care for the natural environment

A community event hosted by Wadawurrung Traditional Owner’s and Mosaic Lab launching the Conversation Kit and MySay page.

Including direct submissions, over 100 responses were received from the community.

More detailed information on the Community Consultation is available in the supporting document – What Was Said Report

The City of Ballarat hosted 20 young people between the ages of 15 and 25 to identify, discuss, and document ways to enhance the health of Ballarat’s natural environment and biodiversity. Six priority areas were generated:

  • Preservation and restoration of green spaces;
  • Education, involvement, learning and awareness;
  • Community programs and engagement;
  • Environmental and sustainable development;
  • Pro- Active thinking;
  • Encouraging ‘stewardship’ to enhance green spaces and feeling ownership over the land.

Participants created a video explaining their priority areas and calling for action from the City of Ballarat and Council –

More detailed information on the Young Peoples Forum and

priority areas is available in the supporting document – What Was Said Report

City of Ballarat staff were invited to come together to discuss what biodiversity means to them and how their roles and teams in the City of Ballarat can influence biodiversity outcomes. Over 45 staff attended representing the Infrastructure and Environment, Community Wellbeing, and Development and Growth directorates.

The workshops highlighted that environmental stewardship is more than just plants in the ground and that actions and decisions right across the organisation effect the environment and Ballarat’s biodiversity, and there is much we as an organisation can do to both improve the community’s relationship with the environment, as well as our own.

The successful execution of this strategy hinges upon a robust partnership between the City of Ballarat, natural resource management bodies, community groups, and the wider community itself. Through discussions with local agencies, it became obvious that they are eager to collaborate with the City of Ballarat to protect and restore biodiversity.

The City of Ballarat met with the following agencies to discuss their current strategies, projects and working relationships: Parks Victoria, Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA), CCMA, GHCMA, CHW, CFA, Department of Transport and Planning (DTP), Hepburn Shire Council, Moorabool Shire Council, and Golden Plains Shire Council. A strong desire to collaborate and share information was evident.

Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation hosted Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation and the City of Ballarat Mayor, Councillors, CEO and Directors at Gong Gong Reservoir to discuss how we can care for Country together.

Everyone came to the day in a genuine and open manner to hear and listen to each other’s lived experiences and personal connections to Ballarat. The day was an important step to progressing the City of Ballarat’s Reconciliation Action Plan of building a genuine relationship based on mutual respect, where opportunities to work together collaboratively were discussed.

Representatives from Ballarat’s ‘Friends of’ groups met to discuss how the City of Ballarat can better collaborate with and facilitate the efforts of community activism across the municipality for the benefit of the environment. There was a strong desire from community members to have a close working relationship with City of Ballarat staff and representation from Councillors. There was also a strong desire to establish an Environmental Advisory Committee to provide a communication channel to discuss issues, solutions and priorities for management and restoration of Ballarat’s environment.

How can I contribute?

Quick Poll

We received hundreds of suggested actions and have prioritised the actions that were consistently requested, are achievable (aligning with timeframes and budget), and those which compliment each other for increased benefit, and that we can help drive.
Do you agree with the Actions in the Draft Ballarat Biodiversity Strategy?


What are your thoughts on the proposed actions?

Whether you tend to agree or disagree with the proposed actions, please tell us which ones, and why below. Alternatively, email for a more detailed response. (max 140 characters).

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