Our rivers, climate change, population growth, liveability – this is what the council plans to do

Susanna Freymark

Richmond Valley Council has put a draft Sustainable Communities Strategy 2023-2028 on public exhibition.

Earlier this month the Casino Place Plan and Urban Growth Management Strategy were put on public exhibition and, like the Sustainable Communities Strategy, comments close on February 28.

So, what is the Sustainable Communities Strategy and why should you read it?

The preamble to the report explains: “In the next 20 years, Richmond Valley Council aims to strike a balance between supporting employment, housing and investment and protecting what we love about this place including our green corridors, rivers and waterways, farmland and open spaces.”

What the council chooses to do through this strategy report affects every resident and it is important you are informed about it and give feedback if relevant.

Read it in its entirety here.

Below are some key points from the report.

Where we live

Richmond Valley LGA has an area of 3051 square kilometres with terrain ranging from sea level to just over 650m altitude at Busbys Flat.

Strong industrial and economic growth in the region is expected to bring an increase in population.

This will cause greater pressure on housing and infrastructure as well as more dependence on agricultural land and water supply.

The Richmond River is the region’s key natural asset.

It is vital we get the balance right between growth and liveability to protect and enhance our region.

Richmond Valley Local Government Area in dark green.

Being resilient

The Richmond Valley has been severely impacted recently by natural disasters – bushfire, drought, flood and storm events.

Climate change is likely to increase the risk of these events recurring with significant damage to our community affecting liveability.

Increases in average temperature greatly impact the liveability of our region. Higher temperatures discourage walking and cycling and promotes driving cars – and this produces greater emissions.

Air conditioning use increases which creates higher demand on our natural resources and affects electricity prices.

Council aims to cool urban environments by increasing shaded areas. It will also provide corridors for local flora and fauna to thrive.

What we plan to do for our rivers

The strategy recommends looking after the Richmond River by:

• Advocating for riverbank assessment and restoration programs in Casino, the Mid Richmond and Bungawalbin.

• Managing high risk on-site sewage and liquid trade waste systems.

• Ensuring compliance of underground petroleum storage systems.

• Promoting greater stormwater harvesting and reuse on public and private land.

Environmental targets

There are suggestions in the report on how the council can use resources more efficiently and improve individuals and other groups’ impacts across the region:

• Reducing the council’s carbon footprint.

• Reducing council’s water usage.

• Reduce waste to landfill.

• Increase staff understanding of waste avoidance, disposal options and contamination.

• Investigate the viability of electric vehicles as technology progresses.

There is much more in the report and it is worth a read for every Richmond Valley resident.

Give your feedback

To make a written submission:

Email to council@richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au

Fill out a Make a Submission form on council’s website

Post a paper submission to General Manager, Richmond Valley Council, Locked Bag 10 Casino NSW 2470

Deliver to council’s administration centre in Casino or Evans Head

Submissions close at 4pm, Tuesday, February 28.

Like an alert when we add a story? Yes please No thanks