Overall, there are 4 Optimal Conditions (OC) that we have identified for the environment pillar that we value as important to tourism. What this means is that we believe if these things became compromised it would represent a threat to the industry as our beautiful unspoilt environment becomes compromised. As such, healthy tourism depends on their success long term in our region. For each Optimal condition we have identified several things we can track and measure as an indicator of what we value as important.

  1. Natural habitats are healthy (in the 360 Model, we refer to this as OC1).
    • PHASE 1 INDICATORS: There are several different measures we have identified as ‘indicators’ of healthy natural habitats. In this initial stage we have added the measures in our region that already have data publicly available, and includes water levels at Sussex Inlet, the Shoalhaven River and St Georges Basin.
    • PHASE 2 INDICATORS: There are many other measures identified as available for collection by other organisations that we would like to include but have not yet been able to get data for. The 360 final report identifies these as options for “Phase 2” and for this pillar there are 26 additional indicators including: dune vegetation coverage on popular beaches (Hyams, Huskisson, Mollymook, Sussex Inlet); presence of illegal bush tracks in hot spots (Hyams, Huskisson, Mollymook, Sussex Inlet), and number of illegal camp fires. We will continue to strive to add to the model as data becomes available or more research is completed. We are actively looking for information we can add as an indicator of this condition. If you have any data available regularly and are willing to share it with Council we would love to hear from you, please contact the tourism team.
  2. Wildlife population is healthy (in the 360 Model, we refer to this as OC2).
    • PHASE 1 INDICATORS: Up until now Shoalhven Tourism have not been able to receive any data from other groups and organisations and so, there is no indicators in this initial stage as yet.
    • PHASE 2 INDICATORS: There are several ways we have identified where data is collected we could add to this 360 Model as it becomes available. This includes whale sightings, shore bird numbers on popular beaches and records of injured animals in our roads. We are actively looking for information we can add as an indicator of this condition. If you have any data available regularly and are willing to share it with Council we would love to hear from you, please contact the tourism team.
  3. Waste management facilities and services meets peak period demands (in the 360 Model, we refer to this as OC3). Overall, everyone we spoke to mentioned rubbish and waste in some way. Either bins and rubbish or sewerage and waste running into our waterways, feedback we have recieved is that how we manage waste from our visitors is a critical measure of environmental impacts of visitors.
    • PHASE 1 INDICATORS:Number of complaints council receives about waste is a great measure of resident satisfaction so you will see that data in the model for phase one.
    • PHASE 2 INDICATORS: We also recognised that a measure of waste management was subjective and based on personal experience and perceptions. We have plans in place to create and conduct community surveys in ‘Phase 2’ that measures the proportion of residents who are satisfied with waste management in peak times in busy places (we call these hot spots) as well as total numbers of additional toilet cleans requested by community to council.
  4. Local Beaches are clean of rubbish (in the 360 Model, we refer to this as OC4).
    • PHASE 1 INDICATORS: The number of Illegal fires on beaches reported to RFS are a great measure of this so you will see this in the model.
    • PHASE 2 INDICATORS: We have identified it would be great to know how much rubbish was collected from our visitor hotspots but this is not currently collected. We will continue to strive to add to the model as data becomes available or more research is completed. We are actively looking for information we can add as an indicator of this condition. If you have any data available regularly and are willing to share it with Council we would love to hear from you, please contact the tourism team.

Overall we combine all the optimal conditions and their indicators to rank how many we believe are acceptable vs how many are not performing well to give us an overall “Community Index Score”

As of Sept 2018 Qtr, the Environmental Pillar Score shows 1 out of 1. With many indicators either not available or scheduled for phase 2 this is an early indication only. As data becomes available and other Indicators across other environmental Optimal Conditions are entered into the model, we will see more bars on this chart  and the Environment Index is expected to change.