The City manages approximately 500 natural reserves, varying in size from over 2,000 hectares to less than 1 hectare. These natural reserves are significant assets for the City in terms of their ecological functions, as well as generating economic, health and wellbeing benefits for the local community and visitors.
Unfortunately, natural reserves are subject to considerable human pressure from off-road vehicles (banned within all City reserves), day visitation, bushwalking, fishing, camping, sporting activities and tourism. With human activity comes an increase in the threat of bushfire, littering, dieback, wilful damage to plants and unnecessary damage to vegetation through the creation of access tracks. As a result of these influences, the City may be required from time to time to close sections of reserves to allow for rehabilitation of degraded areas, for safety reasons or to manage an incident within the reserve.
A natural reserves asset management plan is being developed to ensure that the long-term management of these reserves, existing and newly created, is undertaken in a systematic way.