|Catchment think tank starts|
Date of release: March 27, 2012
Minister launches new catchment ‘think tank’
A new community-based approach in managing natural resources is underway with the announcement of Wimmera Catchment Management Authority’s regional advisory committees.
State Environment Minister Ryan Smith announced committees for soils, waterways, threatened species, wetlands and native vegetation during a two-day visit to the region last week. Mr Smith finished his Wimmera tour at the first joint committee meeting at Longerenong College last Thursday (March 22).
Almost 50 people from all corners of the region are part of the five new committees which include farmers, scientists, plant experts and river custodians.
Members include people from the community, Local Government, Landcare, Wimmera Anglers Association, Birchip Cropping Group, Ballarat University, The Victorian Farmers Federation, Barengi Gadjin Land Council, Field and Game Australia, Victorian No Till Farmers Association, Department of Sustainability and Environment and the Department of Primary Industries.
Part of the committees’ role will be input into the Wimmera Regional Catchment Strategy, a blueprint guiding investment into the region’s natural resources for the next six years.
Wimmera CMA Chief executive David Brennan said the CMA put out a call last November inviting people with an interest in agricultural soils, plants and animals, rivers, wetlands and native vegetation to join a ‘regional think tank with a holistic approach to catchment management’.
“We were thrilled with the response and high calibre of applicants for the committees. Our aim was to attract people from a broad range of skills and backgrounds with a genuine interest and passion for the future of this region’s natural assets and the final committees reflect that,” Mr Brennan said.
He said the committees would play a critical role in helping the CMA develop well-informed solutions that considered production, the environment and the community.
“The primary function of these committees is to provide us with a well-balanced view of the catchment and our community,” he said. “We want an indepth understanding of what’s happening with our soils, rivers, threatened species, wetlands and native vegetation so we can shape future investment into our natural resources in the best possible way.
"The members of these new advisory committees will provide us with the depth and breadth of experience and knowledge that we are after.”