Turtle

Community values prioritised in Goulburn Broken Regional Catchment Strategy

Thursday 16 May, 2013
Strong partnerships and building the resilience of the Goulburn Broken Catchment's people and natural resources in the face of changes in land-use, climate, water policy and farm production are Goulburn Broken Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS) priorities.

Strong partnerships and building the resilience of the Goulburn Broken Catchment's people and natural resources in the face of changes in land-use, climate, water policy and farm production are Goulburn Broken Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS) priorities.

The 2013-19 Goulburn Broken RCS was one of nine RCSs launched by Environment Minister Ryan Smith in Corryong this morning.

"Each CMA's RCS reflects the unique characteristics of that particular Catchment and outlines their priorities for dealing with the challenges and opportunities in the Catchment area for the next six years," Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Acting Chair Murray Chapman said.

Mr Chapman, who attended the launch, said the next step would be to implement the Goulburn Broken RCS, which was developed using a resilience approach.

"The past decade of drought, fires and floods has highlighted the interconnectedness of this Catchment's people, land, biodiversity and water," Mr Chapman said. "Resilience is the ability of the Catchment's people and environment to cope with such stresses while continuing to provide the vital services we require for life and wellbeing, such as clean air and water and productive soils."

Mr Chapman said the views of a range of community groups, government agencies and technical experts were sought during the development of the RCS to ensure it reflected the Catchment's dynamic and ever-changing nature.

"What emerged from this collaborative approach were four key drivers of change that impacted the Catchment: land-use changes; climate variability; water policy reform and increased farm production," he said.

"We also found that while responding to issues such as climate variability, flood, fire and drought required a Catchment-wide approach, different parts of our Catchment had different priorities and challenges. For example, around Mansfield, there are increasing numbers of absentee landholders and lifestyle properties; irrigated agriculture drives the economy in some parts of the Catchment but not others, while around Kilmore we're seeing increasing numbers of people moving to the area, because of its natural beauty, and commuting to Melbourne. Recognition of these differences led to the development of six social-ecological systems (SESs) that share some similar characteristics and issues."

The six SESs are:

Agricultural Floodplains – northern floodplains bounded by the Murray River; includes Cobram, Nathalia, Kyabram and Tatura.

Productive Plains – foothills and floodplains towards the north of the Catchment; includes Euroa and Nagambie.Upland Slopes – slopes and valleys towards the south of the Catchment; includes Mansfield, Yea and Alexandra.Southern Forests – south-east mountains, waterways and snow-covered alps; includes Mt Buller, Jamieson and Woods Point.Commuting Hills – southern and south-western urban fringe; includes Kilmore, Broadford and Marysville. Urban Centres – such as Shepparton, Seymour and Benalla.

Goulburn Broken CMA CEO Chris Norman said the Goulburn Broken RCS was a dynamic document.

"While some actions to implement the RCS have already been identified in each SES, the Goulburn Broken CMA will work closely with its partners and the community to ensure they continue to accurately reflect local values and priorities," Mr Norman said.

To read the RCS visit www.gbcma.vic.gov.au