Targets are the most important part of this strategy because they define our collective intent and direction. They describe what we aim to achieve, by when and the parameters we will use to monitor and report.
This strategy advocates that the hinterland (the ring of rural and semi-rural land around Melbourne) is a very important environmental asset. It provides native habitat that supports biodiversity, ecosystem health and resilience as well as supporting productive and valuable agriculture and local food security, plus natural and open landscapes that are social and recreational oases for urban communities.
The hinterland is characterised by open space and predominantly ‘soft ground’ enabling species to move across the landscape and find habitat. It hosts water in the landscape – in wetlands and in dams – and enables unmodified waterways to fulfill natural functions while maintaining water quality and stream condition.
The Hinterland also caters for broad-scale environmental programs such as pest control and revegetation.
The following targets are proposed for the future extent of the region’s Hinterland. A vision is that it be secure, agriculturally productive, environmentally valuable and continues to make a significant contribution to the liveability of Melbourne and Victoria. The targets are focused on extent in the future, specifically on retaining as much of the Hinterland as practical. The targets are an important basis for ongoing discussion with Councils and the relevant Victorian Government departments as they manage Melbourne’s future urban growth and determine the urban-rural mix of the region.
The proposed targets are outlined in the following table.