A local Biodiversity Coordinator is closer to being appointed following the signing of a Deed of Grant of Funds by Council’s Chief Executive, Michael Ross. The Deed between the Director General of Conservation and Council provides funding over the next three years to employ a part-time officer for this role.
Council’s Planning Manager, David Campbell, notes that “We have advertised for the position and received some high quality applicants, who will be interviewed shortly”. Once engaged, the Coordinator will work closely with local land owners to assist with biodiversity management on their properties. Mr Campbell goes on to say “We are making use of external funding to help out farmers in a non-regulatory way so as to enable them to manage the district’s biodiversity resources.”
Biodiversity is receiving a lot of attention with the Proposed National Policy Statement, changes to the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement as well as Council’s own Ecological Study getting underway. Mr Ross said that “This is an opportune time to get someone on the ground to fulfil an important role in our community, especially with irrigation developments progressing and many more planned.”
Depending on the success of the Biodiversity Coordinator, additional funding may become available from other sources, including some of the larger industries in the district. This would help expand the role to a full-time position.