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 to 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.


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 (EVCs):

  • 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.   

Ecological vegetation classes

Ecological vegetation classes (EVCs) are the standard unit for classifying vegetation types in Victoria. Currently, there are 30 EVCs represented within Kingston, however only 16 of these are found in Council’s bushland and foreshore reserves, for which these profiles have been developed. These EVC profiles may also be a useful reference for anyone interested in understanding, protecting and restoring the unique biodiversity that occurs in their area.

View the EVC map

Visit the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) website for more information on EVCs.

View our Foreshore Vegetation Management Guidelines(PDF, 6MB) for more information about how we consider EVCs in our vegetation management practices.


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: 

  • Smother and prevent regrowth of native plants 
  • Reduce biodiversity
  • Control costs
  • Loss of open spaces 
  • Increased fire risk 
  • Decline to landscape and water quality
  • Harbour pests 
  • Choke waterways, increase flooding 
  • Alter 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 & 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 management

City of Kingston takes an integrated approach to weed management, using a range of control techniques including hand weeding, steaming, controlled burning and herbicides.

In high-traffic areas such as playgrounds and childcare centres, only manual weeding and steaming are used. Off leash dog park weed management practices include a combination of steaming and hand weeding.

Melbourne Water use an integrated weed management approach at the Quiet Lakes and Tidal Waterways. This approach consists of mechanical raking and herbicide treatment.

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


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.

For more information, see our report on the use of Glyphosate for weed management.

Peri-urban Weed Management Program

Conservation Officers from Council will be working alongside Rangers from the Bunurong Land Council to protect Kingston’s valuable native flora and fauna from invasive weed incursions. 

In collaboration with our project partners, the Peri-urban Weed Management Program will target weeds across 60 hectares of bushland and foreshore reserves, with sites including Mordialloc Creek, Rowan Woodland, Elder St South and the Bonbeach and Carrum foreshore. These works will assist in protecting and enhancing some of Kingston’s most significant natural areas. 

Project partners include: 

  • Kingston City Council (lead agency)
  • Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (primary project partner)
  • Seeds Bushland Management
  • Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action
  • Melbourne Water
  • Kingston Environmental Friends Network

The Peri-urban Weed Management Program is a multi-year project funded through the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action (DEECA)’s Peri-urban Weed Management Partnerships, with co-contributions from Kingston City Council, and is currently scheduled to run until 2025.

Priority weeds

Some of the target weeds in the program are high-risk invasive species at the early stage of invasion, that threaten biodiversity, including:

  • Tree Aloe (Aloe arborescens)
  • Tall Fleabane (Conyza sumatrensis)
  • Cape Ivy (Delairea odorata)
  • African Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum)
  • Creeping Groundsel (Senecio angulatus)
  • Wandering Trad (Tradescantia fluminensis)
  • Sallow Wattle (Acacia longifolia ssp. Longifolia)
  • Brown-top Bent (Agrostis capillaris)
  • Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides)
  • Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg.)
  • Prickly Pear (Opuntia sp.)

Get involved

Several of Kingston’s foreshore working bees are held in Peri-urban Weed Management areas. 

Patterson Lakes Waterways

Beach Maintenance Program Update

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. 

Council and Melbourne Water have re-entered a 5-year management plan(PDF, 2MB) which outlines responsibilities. Beach maintenance works are done by Melbourne Water through Council funding. 

For scheduled service details, please see our Annual Beach Maintenance Program(PDF, 79KB). Please note: this program is subject to change and updated on the website. Maintenance will only be carried out when conditions are optimal and safe.

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.

Subscribe for updates on Patterson Lakes Tidal Waterways. 

Resident beach management

We often have residents contacting us clarifying whether they can undertake maintenance on their beach area or whether it has to be done by Council. We encourage residents to maintain these areas like they would their own properties and Melbourne Water will continue to undertake the maintenance schedule established. Residents are welcome to top up the sand on their section of beach. Sand should be white, washed sand (the same used in playground sandpits).

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.