Valley

Volunteers the key to improving the catchment’s environment

More than 3000ha of weed control and more than 99,000ha of fox control were achieved by community natural resource management (NRM) groups in the Goulburn Broken catchment during 2014/15.

The catchment’s 96 community NRM groups and 12 networks also achieved:

  • 562.7ha of revegetation;
  • 394.8ha of vegetation protection and improvement;
  • 1757ha of rabbit control;
  • 126.8km of fencing; and
  • built 1145 nest boxes.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) CEO Chris Norman said the work carried by the groups was critical for improving the region’s land, water and biodiversity.

“The membership of these Landcare groups and networks, sustainable farming groups and conservation management networks are largely volunteer-based, which makes the delivery of these on-ground works even more impressive,” Mr Norman said.

The groups’ achievements are captured each year in the Goulburn Broken Catchment Community NRM Report Card.

“The information in the report card is collected via a survey and it’s great to note that as well as detailing the huge amount of on-ground works they’ve delivered, the groups feel their membership numbers are healthy,’ Mr Norman said. “Given that the members of these groups are well-placed to identify local priorities, this bodes well for the ongoing improvement of the catchment’s environment.” 

The report card also details engagement with Traditional Owners and schools and notes that almost 700 field days, workshops and other events were held across the Catchment. In addition, the groups list the greatest challenges they believe their local communities will face over the next five years.

Goulburn Murray Landcare Network Chair John Laing said the majority of groups in the region considered their greatest challenges continued to be pest plant and animal control and protecting and improving native vegetation. 

 “They also believe that continuing to improve land managers’ skills and knowledge and securing support for the facilitators that work with the groups is critical to improving the catchment,” Mr Laing said.

Mr Norman said knowing the community’s priorities helped the Goulburn Broken CMA align local projects with government funding priorities.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Catchment and Water Deputy Secretary Kate Houghton said each of the 10 CMAs provided a Community NRM report card to the Victorian Government.

“These reports not only provide us with a great indication of how the funding we provide to the CMAs is making a difference in each region, it helps paint a picture of how these local initiatives contribute to improving environmental values across the state,” Ms Houghton said.     

The Goulburn Broken Catchment Community NRM Report Card is available here.