How was feedback on the Maroondah Vegetation Review Issues and Options paper incorporated into the draft strategy?

    In February this year our Issues and Options Paper was made available to the community for comment. Fifty two submitters responded, providing feedback to specific questions, some taking on the prioritisation challenge (“Mission Imaginable”), and others providing overall general comments.

    All of the feedback we received was summarised and a report published on this to this project page in April this year. We have now included an annotated version of that feedback summary report which explains how the feedback you provided has, or has not, been incorporated into the draft Maroondah Vegetation Strategy.

    What direction is the draft strategy taking?

    The vision:  “In 2040, more people, plants and animals in Maroondah are reaping the wellbeing and habitat benefits of abundant and diverse vegetation for healthier living and life

    The draft strategy seeks to do this by protecting existing vegetation, improving its condition, and adding more vegetation in key locations so that we make Maroondah more liveable for our community, and we have more nature throughout Maroondah.

    The draft Maroondah Vegetation Strategy proposes several actions, including:

    • Amendments to the planning scheme to:

      • Strengthen protection of existing canopy trees and habitat

      • Preserve ‘permeability’ to better support vegetation

      • Protect habitat corridor routes

      • Require provision of canopy trees in key locations

      • Removal of the Bushfire Management Overlay where no longer needed

    • Preparation of funding cases for:

      • Establishing a long term street and park tree renewal masterplan

      • Directly managing more habitat in identified sites of biological significance

      • Supporting environmental volunteers, community events and biodiversity monitoring

      • Regular auditing of vegetation offset sites

    • Advocating for:

      • Relocating cables, pipes etc. to create more space for trees

      • Restoring naturalness along waterways in Maroondah, eg Mullum Mullum Creek

    • Undertaking research and data analysis to:

      • Identify the best locations for precinct-scale planning

      • Understand and manage eucalypt dieback

      • Identify priority locations for increased tree planting

      • Identify tree and vegetation species for the future climate

      • Evaluate options for incentivising the provision of green roofs and walls

      • Confirm priority habitat corridor routes, and evaluate options for creating habitat on nature strips or on private land along corridor routes

      • Identify potential locations for creating wetlands as habitat stepping stones

    • Providing community education and information to:

      • Help residential developments incorporate vegetation into designs

      • Involve community in updating a notable trees inventory

      • Help landowners maintain the health of trees on their properties

    • Enhancing our current work to:

      • Apply Water Sensitive Urban Design to alleviate flooding, passively irrigate vegetation, and create habitat in key locations

      • Extend street tree inspection and maintenance cycle to include trees in reserves

      • Pursue opportunities to demonstrate green roofs and walls for liveability and habitat

      • Trial innovative and traditional bushland management methods

      • Use indigenous species for street trees and open space for habitat along corridor routes

    • Providing foundational support by:

      • Pursuing opportunities to trial a collaborative green infrastructure approach

      • Including biodiversity and vegetation statements in the new Municipal Planning Strategy

      • Providing community information for smooth introduction of planning scheme changes

      • Monitoring changes in tree canopy cover and habitat

      • Investigating potential indicators and monitoring of ‘liveability’ and ‘more nature’

    What is vegetation?

    Maroondah’s vegetation includes street trees, trees and other vegetation in parks, native vegetation in bushland reserves, and trees and gardens in residential and commercial areas.

    Vegetation is one of Maroondah’s natural assets.

    What are Maroondah’s natural assets?

    Maroondah’s natural assets include living things such as vegetation (trees, shrubs, grasses, etc.) and wildlife (mammals, birds, reptiles, fish insects, etc.), and non-living things such as logs, leaf litter, water, and soil. 

    Collectively these can be referred to as Maroondah’s nature.

    What benefits do we get from vegetation?

      provides habitat for native plants and animals (food, shelter and breeding sites)

      reduces urban stormwater management and treatment costs

      reduce flooding risk and impact

      provides shade,

      reduces air temperatures,

      reduces wind speeds,

      improves soil health and stability

      increases air quality and reduces air born pollution,

      reduces the urban heat island effect and associated health impacts

      faster patient recovery rates and decreased dependency on medication

      reduces stress, anxiety and improves mental health

      supports social interaction

      provides places for nature play

      supporting local primary production - commercial and community-focussed

      increases commercial activity

      increases business productivity

      increases the value of suburban property

      reduces energy costs

      calmer and slower traffic on treed streets

      longer life of road surface when shaded by canopy trees

    These ‘ecosystem services’ cause improvements in human health and human productivity, reducing public health burden, and contributing to an overall improvement in economic resilience.

    To explore these concepts further here are some links to informative research on the benefits of vegetation.

      Botanic Gardens of South Australia

      202020 vision 

      Secret Agent 

    What is the Maroondah Vegetation Review?

    A comprehensive review of Maroondah’s vegetation, its values, and what is needed to ensure its benefits continue to be provided into the future.

    The Review supports several Key Directions identified for a clean, green and sustainable community, an outcome sought by Maroondah 2040 Community Vision, and is a specific action (3.1a) under Key Direction 3.1 - Review, evaluate, reaffirm and enhance the existing commitment to areas of special environmental quality in Maroondah of Maroondah’s Housing Strategy 2016.

    The timeline on this project page reflects each individual component of the review.

    How can I have my say on the Vegetation Review?

    We will be inviting you to share your ideas, thoughts or concerns on the review at various stages through its development:

    Have your say on the Issues and Options paper by 15 March, 2019.

    There will be further opportunities to have your say on the Draft Vegetation Strategy in July/August 2019.

    Who have we heard from so far? / What have they said?

    We have heard from individuals, community groups, organisations and council staff, including:

    Feedback from the community during Café Consult, as part of the 2017 Maroondah Festival highlighted that vegetation is most valued by residents for native plants and animals, and their favourite animal that calls Maroondah home is the Koala.

    How can I get involved in caring for our natural environment?

    There are ways you can help our local natural environment right now:

    • Volunteering with a natural environment community group
    • By using indigenous (local native) plants in your garden
    helpful resources for local native and indigenous plants include:

    • “Wildlife Gardens Maroondah” booklet produced by Community of Ringwood Indigenous Species Plant Nursery (CRISP) in 2018 (available from the CRISP Nursery for a gold coin donation)
    • CRISP Nursery - 17 Greenwood Avenue, Ringwood
    • Candlebark Community Nursery, Cnr Hull & Taylor Roads, Mooroolbark. 
    • Participate in one of the many community activities that take place across our City. Our Maroondah community Events Calendar lists many of these activities - search under the ‘environment’ category.
    • Register your interest in the Vegetation Review, on this page to share your views, hear news and discover opportunities to get involved.

    What does Council do to care for vegetation?

    Council maintains our environment through the responsible management of naturestrips, trees, environmental weeds and burning off through regulations and provision of permits. For more details on what you can and can’t do with naturestrips and trees, please visit

    The Maroondah Planning Scheme includes controls to help retain existing vegetation. These include the Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO) to conserve and enhance the character of significant landscapes and the Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO) to protect areas of significant native vegetation in Maroondah.

    Council has worked with the community over many years to improve understanding of tree planning controls. We ensure planning applications for tree removal(External link) comply with the Maroondah Planning Scheme. 

    A permit may also be required for removal of existing vegetation. If a permit is granted to remove indigenous vegetation, we may require you to undertake offset planting of additional indigenous plants. This requirements help us to protect our existing trees and native vegetation, and the many environmental and cultural benefits they provide in contributing to the ‘green and leafy’ character of Maroondah.