Managing our natural resources

The management of our Natural Resource Areas (NRAs) is an ongoing job.

Each NRA is divided into Vegetation Management Zones, all with a five-year plan with targets for weed cover, native vegetation cover and revegetation.  

Annual programs ensure these targets are met. 

Resource management objectives

  • Protect, maintain and restore eco-friendly procedures, indigenous flora and fauna, habitats and gene pools
  • Support the community’s involvement in managing our NRAs  
  • Promote community understanding of our NRAs values, biodiversity and eco-friendly processes.

Management areas

Fire management

Fire is used as an important vegetation management tool within our NRAs in two ways 

  1. Authorised fires, which stimulate the regrowth of indigenous plants. These carefully planned fires increase biodiversity and reduce weeds.
  2. Seed head/seedling burning. This technique reduces the build-up of weed species by destroying it before growing.  

For more information on preventing fire or burning off on private land visit Burning Off Permits.

Biodiversity

The City of Kingston includes a large part of Melbourne’s ‘Sandbelt’ - lying to the west of the Gippsland Plain bioregion.

There are several soil types, mostly sandy soil and habitats, which range from inland sand dunes, creeks, wetlands, coastal buffs and dunes.

Number of Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVC):

  • 72 in the Gippsland Plain bioregion 
  • 33 in Kingston before European settlement, with many lost or changed 
  • 30 currently in Kingston  
  • 16 in our Natural Resource Areas (NRAs)  

These include remnant vegetation areas crucial for supporting a range of indigenous native flora and fauna.

Kingston’s native flora has approximately 470 species of ferns and flowering plants and around 274 species of vertebrates. 

Specialist management is required for the following habitats identified within our NRAs:

  • Sand Heathland - endangered 
  • Coastal Banksia Woodland - endangered
  • Coastal Heathland Scrub - vulnerable 
  • Estuarine Reedbeds - vulnerable.   

Weeds

Weeds threaten the survival of our local native flora and fauna, overtaking indigenous plants for light, nutrients and water. They can significantly disrupt native wildlife habitats and ecosystems, which can leave species without food and shelter.

Machinery, birds, animals, wind or dumped garden cuttings can contribute to spreading weeds.  

Weeds are: 

  • Accidentally or intentionally introduced foreign plants 
  • Native plants that became weeds from poor management or outside their natural area   

The environmental, economic and social impacts of weeds: 

  • Smothers and prevents regrowth of native plants 
  • Reduces biodiversity
  • Control costs
  • Loss of open spaces 
  • Increased fire risk 
  • Decline to landscape and water quality
  • Harbour pests 
  • Choke waterways, increase flooding 
  • Alters hydrological and nutrient cycles 

Our list of environmental weed species(PDF, 195KB) shows invasive species that you should avoid planting, and trying to remove if found.

Some weed species may be referred to as a ‘Noxious Weed’ under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994. They must be removed and prevented from spreading.  

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website or contact on 136 186 for more information.  

Weed maintenance

Kingston supports ceasing the use of glyphosate herbicides and is working with other industry partners to consider alternative long term weed control.  

Melbourne Water contractors are using weed steaming as an alternative method for the Quiet Lakes and using both mechanical and manual techniques for the Tidal Waterways.

Weed management

Kingston uses a range of control measures to manage weeds, including hand weeding, steaming, burning and plant poisons.

In high-traffic areas like playgrounds and childcare centres, only hand weeding and steaming are used. 

Council’s use of herbicides is guided by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and WorkSafe.  

Glyphosate

The APVMA and WorkSafe Guidelines state that products containing glyphosate can be used safety if directions are followed on the Safety Data Sheet and labels.

Council has moved to cease the use of glyphosate for weed killing.

Patterson Lakes Waterways

Patterson Lakes Waterways is the collective name for a series of water bodies called the Tidal Waterways and the Quiet Lakes. They provide an important part in the regional drainage system and in flood protection.

The Tidal Waterways is a chain of canals and harbours connected to Patterson River and Port Phillip Bay.

The Quiet Lakes consists of three landlocked lakes – Legana, Illawong and Carramar. Together they are all connected to Patterson Lakes River and Kananook Creek via pumps and drains.

The highly valued waterways provide 23 kms of shoreline water to more than 1,200 homes. 

Patterson Lakes beach maintenance works are done by Melbourne Water through Council funding.

For scheduled dates and service detail go to Annual Beach Maintenance Program 2021/22(PDF, 110KB). Please note: this program is subject to change and updated on the website. 

Could residents please ensure all personal equipment, like outdoor furniture or boats, are removed from the beach areas so the contractor can perform the maintenance service. Contractors are NOT required to move any equipment which will cause areas to be missed.

We appreciate your cooperation.  

Water Quality

In warmer weather, usually between October to January, aquatic growth can be seen in the waterways. These plants provide environmental benefits and improve the water quality. They pose no risk to humans, animals or environmental health.