People and communities will be main focus areas during the renewal process of Shepparton Irrigation Region Land and Water Management Plan (SIRLWMP).
Key stakeholders met earlier this month to discuss the vision and critical attributes of the plan, which has been in place for more than 30 years.
The plan was devised to protect environmental integrity in the irrigated, agricultural landscape of the Shepparton Irrigation Region.
The Goulburn Broken CMA’s Carl Waters said it was crucial to check in with major stakeholders and the community.
“We need to gauge how the region has changed over 30 years and how those changes shape our plan going forward,” Mr Walters said.
“It’s a critical part of the journey. Our old plan needs refreshing and renewing. It’s about getting the key thinkers of the region in one room and setting out a vision for the next 20 to 30 years.”
He said Coronavirus19 had highlighted the importance of thriving communities to the success of the SIRLWMP.
“We didn’t have community or people as critical attributes in the original plan and that’s because it was assumed they were hugely important.
“But now we need to state it clearly that community and people are at the heart of an effective long-term plan for the future.
Dairy farmer and GBCMA board member Sarah Parker said she supported a greater emphasis on people and community for the renewed plan.
“The region has had tough few years with Covid, floods and fires and it deserves a bright future and to ensure that, we need plan for it,” Ms Parker said.
“It’s about collecting a lot opinions, compiling them into a vision and having us all sign up to it.”
She said the plan renewal was a great opportunity for the region to take stock.
“It’s food for the soul. A collective group working together for a collective goal.
“It’s a chance to look back at where we’ve been and what we’ve achieved and also really nut out how we want to look in the future.”
Other critical attributes for the renewed plan include water availability, farm and regional prosperity, biodiversity and drainage.
Dairy producer Sarah Parker and Goulburn Broken CMA’s Carl Walters