Environment & Biodiversity Strategy



The Environment and Biodiversity Strategy defines and articulates the City of Burnside's strategic commitment to working with our community to achieve the Council's vision.

“We are renowned for our City’s green and leafy character and unique integrated urban form. We are highly regarded for our sense of community spirit, support for one another, social diversity and commitment to the environment.”

The guiding principles of the Strategy will assist the City to progress towards resilience and living sustainably. It provides strategic direction aligned to these principles on the management of the precious natural assets of the City of Burnside so that they are restored, protected, conserved and/or maintained, as appropriate. It will also assist and encourage the current and future generations of residents and visitors to value our environment and its biodiversity, and take care of it for the benefit of our current and future community and all of the current and potential life forms living with the City.

Local Government has considerable responsibility in respect to environmental management. The City of Burnside embraces our responsibility to manage and reduce environmental impacts in accordance with theLocal Government Act 1999.

The Environment and Biodiversity Strategy’s vision for the City is for,

“A municipality that supports healthy ecosystems where the air, land and creeks are clean, with leafy urban forests and resilient ecosystems and connected biodiverse landscapes, where fauna habitat is maintained and protected, with a sustainable urbanised heart that seeks sustainable water supplies, reduced bushfire hazard risk, efficient buildings and transport systems and minimal waste and emissions.”

The Environment and Biodiversity Strategy contains three goals, under which strategic objectives indicators and actions are organised. To achieve each Goal the following Strategic Objectives are required to be delivered:


Goal 1 – Sustainable City

  • City wide planning to build resilience
  • Greening our organisation
  • Manage waste sustainably
  • Promote sustainability in the community
  • Prevent pollution of air, water and soil

Goal 2 – Connected and Resilient Biodiverse Landscapes

  • Protect and enhance remnant vegetation
  • Protect and enhance fauna habitat
  • Connect habitats and restore degraded areas
  • Improve urban biodiversity
  • Use local native plants
  • Manage weed threats
  • Build our knowledge
  • Integrate fire risk management
  • Engage community and develop partnerships

Goal 3 – Protected and Valued Water Resources

  • Minimise Council water use
  • Integrate Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) features
  • Maximise the reuse of rainwater, stormwater and wastewater
  • Maintain and enhance the health of waterways
  • Restore and protect waterways from erosion
  • Provide community leadership

Implementation of the Environment and Biodiversity Strategy will involve the incorporation, prioritisation and execution of the individual actions resulting from strategic objectives of this Strategy.

As a Council we can play our part in delivering on these visions, but we cannot succeed alone. We need to use and value the generosity and knowledge of our volunteer community and encourage caring and respect for the environment in the community through education, if we are to be successful in our endeavours to implement this Strategy and achieve our visions.

Guiding Principles

Strategy guiding principles have been considered in context of the Environment and Biodiversity Policy. These Policy statements will assist setting the development of appropriate actions arising from the strategic goals of this Strategy. 

These guiding policy principles are:

Protect, Value and Enhance

Protect, value and enhance the Environmental Values and Ecosystem Services of watercourses, natural areas and open space under our control within the City.

Legal Requirement

Comply with and where practical exceed the requirements of relevant legislation, policy and standards to continually improve our environmental performance.

Precautionary Principle

Regard the natural, economic and social environment in any long-term decision making. If there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty will not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental and/or biodiversity degradation.

Best Available Science

Strategies and plans will enable the best available science to be incorporated and applied as it becomes available. Modelling will help inform decision-making.

Setting Priorities for Action

Priorities for new programs and initiatives will be based on assessments of the relative and long-term potential costs and benefits (financial and non-financial).

Continuously Improving and Evaluating Projects and Programs

Commitments will be monitored and evaluated on a regular basis. Results will be used to inform and adjust our environmental and biodiversity projects and initiatives.

Place Planning

Build strategic relationships with property owners and residents, local businesses, community groups and agencies so that our management of places and the delivery of services to local communities in these places reflect their needs and aspirations.

Integration and Holistic Planning

Ensure that environmental programs are integrated with our other strategies and planning instruments and with other agencies and stakeholders.

Lead By Example

Lead by example and encourage other community stakeholders to commit to sustainability principles. We will learn from others’ success and will design programs, policies, facilities and practices in line with leading practice.

Community Engagement

Community engagement will form the cornerstone of all our environmental and biodiversity programs. We will use best practice principles to guide the delivery of education for sustainability through understanding the behavioural motivations of our community members.


Work in partnership with the City’s community and regional organisations to enhance the City’s environmental quality, while respecting cultural, social and economic values.

Environmental Responsibilities

Ensure our employees, suppliers and contractors are aware of and able to respond to their environmental responsibilities, applying the sustainable procurement principles and processes and utilising the green purchasing resources provided.

Sustainable Funding

Prioritise funding according to evidence-based strategic directions, identified needs and whole-of-life costing. Funding decisions will take a long-term view.

Staff Capacity

Staff will be provided with appropriate training and mentoring to enable sustainable delivery of the outcomes.

Purchasing Preference

Give purchase preferences, where feasible, to reusable, recycled and environmentally friendly products. Apply due diligence to verify authenticity of environmental claims and accreditations of suppliers and service providers. Refuse to purchase items that the supply of such items contributes directly on the degradation of natural habitats locally and/or globally.

Waste Minimisation

Support and implement waste reduction, reuse and recycling programs through the application of the waste minimisation hierarchy Avoid, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Reduce Consumption

Reduce resource consumption, including paper, energy and water use.

Prevent Pollution

Prevent pollution at its source and continually improve Council’s response to pollution incidents to minimise their impacts and occurrence.

For further information, please contact burnside@burnside.sa.gov.au or phone 8366 4200.