Council works with local authorities to actively manage the land, pests, risk of fire and wildlife.
Our aim is to protect, enhance and restore natural areas while maintaining the biodiversity values of our unique tropical environment.
We run a native plant nursery (not open to public) to supply revegetation and restoration activities at sites including Cattana Wetlands and Cairns Central Swamp, for Reef Rescue and River Improvement Trust projects, and Tropical Tree Day. We support landcare groups, community groups, schools and landowners that are engaging in genuine revegetation projects.
We actively manage weeds and feral animals on our land.
- Read more about regional pest management.
Council's hazard reduction burn program is designed to reduce the number of wildfires, provide protection for urban areas and conserve forest habitats. We work in cooperation with the Cairns and District Fire Management Committee, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Environment and Resource Management and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.
Trees and plants
- Disagreements about trees and vegetation crossing property boundaries are a major cause of neighbourhood conflict. Read more about options for resolving disputes about trees and vegetation.
- The PlantSmart guide ( PDF, 0.5 MB ) will help you choose suitable plants for planting near powerlines.
- The Responsible Tree Management fact sheet ( PDF, 0.39 MB ) contains tips on choosing appropriate trees for the tropics, information on tree removal, and how to deal with nuisance trees, tree roots, neighbouring trees and other tree issues.
- The Dirty Dozen plant guide ( PDF, 2.74 MB ) lists 12 common garden plants that can become environmental weeds.
- Use the Gardening with Natives list ( PDF, 2.18 MB ) to choose local native plants instead of exotics for your urban backyard.
- Council's planning scheme provides vegetation protection codes and instruments. You may require a permit to damage or remove vegetation.
Environmental Protection is responsible for implementing specific provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and subordinate legislation pertaining to the protection of the environment from environmental harm.
State Legislation includes:
- Environmental Protection Act 1994
- Environmental Protection Regulation 2008
- Environmental Protection (Water) Policy 2009 (EPP Water)
- Environmental Protection (Air) Policy 2008
- Environmental Protection (Noise) Policy 1997
- Environmental Protection (Waste Management) Regulation 2000
- Waste Reduction & Recycling Act 2011
Activities regulated and enforced by Environmental Protection include environmentally relevant activities (ERAs), contamination of waterways, environmental nuisances including light, noise, odour, particles and smoke, erosion and sediment control, illegal dumping and dewatering permits.
Refer to the links below for specific information.
- Environmental nuisances
- Building and industry
- Water guidelines for contaminants, de-watering & car washing
Council has a duty to investigate and respond to complaints received. A complaint may result in an inspection of your premises to ensure you are complying with legislation.
Complaints that are not a Council matter but a civil matter may be referred to mediation. Further information regarding mediation can be found at the Department of Justice & Attorney-General website.
Copies of the Environmental Protection Act 1994, Sustainable Planning Act 2009 and associated legislation can be found at the Queensland Legislation website.