The Corangamite Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS) identifies the priorities for integrated catchment management across the region for the six years from its implementation until it is updated. A collaborative and adaptive approach, applying best available information, integrated catchment management principles and delivering at a local scale to contribute to regional, state and national natural resource outcomes is at the core of the implementation.
The desire for the strategy to “be a reference for useful information” is provided through its online format. This format provides the opportunity to enable links to relevant information being incorporated within its layout under various sections. The ability to link to the Natural Resource Management Portal and the CCMA Knowledge Base also provides users with a pathway to find information to make natural resource management decisions at a scale relevant to their needs.
The RCS will be delivered through a partnership with both public and private land managers, agency stakeholders, and the whole community. It will involve the members of the Catchment Partnership Agreement (CPA) forum which consists of agencies responsible for legislation and policy implementation along with community and industry organisations. Project development and delivery will be coordinated through CPA partner organisations, Landcare networks and industry groups. Delivery will comply with all relevant regulations utilising best management practice methodologies derived from the best science and latest thinking.
Implementation of the RCS
A Regional Implementation Plan will be developed using the participation principles that guided the RCS renewal:
- Plan how outcomes and priority directions will be achieved
- Identify and establish partnerships for collaborative delivery
- Develop a timeline for implementation
- Establish a detailed monitoring and evaluation framework that enables for adaptive management of the implementation process and transparency of delivery.
The process for doing this is outlined in the following diagram:
Landscape System based implementation plans will provide the basis of implementing the RCS up until the end of 2027. These plans will identify the actions that will deliver Regional Priority Directions that contribute to the delivery of the six year Outcomes for each theme. These plans will not only define the actions that will deliver against the Priority Directions but will also identify responsibilities and status of current resourcing. Both proposed and current projects will be captured spatially by partner organisations. Where there are Priority Directions that do not have identified actions to deliver them, these will be identified and opportunities explored collectively. Unfunded projects that require resourcing to deliver Priority Directions will be captured spatially and included onto the Corangamite NRM Portal as part of a prospectus for future investment.
The image below illustrates the cyclic nature of the annual planning and review that will be used for RCS delivery. It captures how delivery partners will undertake annual collaborative planning, using the performance of the previous year to inform the forthcoming year. There will be the opportunity to:
- support funding opportunities that emerge for unfunded priority activities
- contribute as identified to the monitoring, evaluation and reporting processes and then use this information to inform the ongoing implementation of the strategy.
There is also the commitment to keep the community informed of implementation progress through the annual reporting on progress.
Summary of Diagram (Vision Impaired)
- Collective Planning
- Planning against priority directions
- Knowledge exchange
- Partners Implement
- Check in
- Opportunities that arise
- MERI Responsibilities
- Review Progress Annually
- Of implementation
- Present to partnership forum
- Report progress online
Repeats annually after step 4.
Numerous agencies, organisations, groups and individuals have direct and indirect interest and responsibilities in the management of natural resources across the Corangamite Regional Catchment Strategy area and will participate in the co-delivery of the Strategy.
Partners that currently have a role in NRM in the region and in delivering the RCS include State government agencies and authorities and local government:
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
DELWP has a responsibility for setting policy for water, environment (including biodiversity and climate change) and land. At a regional level they play a crucial role in the implementation of biodiversity and land policy.
Water Authorities deliver a range of services to customers and communities across their service areas, including the supply of drinking and recycled water, and the removal and treatment of sewage and trade waste – known as ‘urban’ water services. Their designated drinking water supply catchments are managed to ensure quality source water for drinking supply purposes. There are three water authorities in the region:
Agriculture Victoria works in partnership with farmers, industries, communities and other government agencies to grow and secure agriculture in Victoria. The organisation has broad regulatory responsibility within the agriculture portfolio and regulates biosecurity to protect food crops and livestock by keeping pests, invasive species and other organisms which may harm the environment, production systems and the safety of the human population.
Environment Protection Authority
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria is Victoria’s environmental regulator. EPA is an independent statutory authority, established in 1971 under the Environment Protection Act 1970. EPA’s role is to prevent and reduce the harmful effects of pollution and waste on Victorians and their environment.
Parks Victoria is a statutory authority of the Victorian Government acting in accordance with the Parks Victoria Act 2018. Parks Victoria is responsible for managing a diverse estate of more than 4 million hectares including 3,000 land and marine parks and reserves making up 18 per cent of Victoria’s landmass, 75 per cent of Victoria’s wetlands and 70 per cent of Victoria’s coastline. Victoria’s parks are home to more than 4,300 native plants and around 1,000 native animal species.
Local government contributes to the delivery of the outcomes of the Regional Catchment Strategy in a variety of ways. This includes the delivery of on-ground works in various areas of council owned/managed public open space, sports ovals and conservation reserves. and the maintenance and enhancement of trail networks and waterways including lakes and linear reserves.
Local government also has the ability to influence how land is used through the implementation of strategic objectives of the relevant planning scheme as well as individual land use planning decisions.
There are many other contributors to the management of natural resources across the region. These organisations or individuals may directly or indirectly contribute to the RCS.
Significant partnerships in the region include Traditional Owner groups, not for profit and community organisations, industry, land holders and urban communities.
Within the Corangamite region there are two Traditional Owner Groups who care and connect with Country in the region. The two registered Aboriginal organisations are:
Corangamite region has a diverse community from highly urbanised, to visitor, to community. Furthermore we have a collection of active community involved in various natural resource management activities as well as landcare groups. These individuals along with individual land managers play a role in stewarding the region’s natural resources. While the implementation of the majority of priority directions within the RCS will be delivered with the support of community groups and individual landholders, the RCS is also a tool that can be used by these members of the community to inform their own funding bids by demonstrating a linkage to the RCS. The NRM Portal is a tool linked to the RCS that enables land managers to access information that supports their decision making regarding the most suitable use for that land.
Private land managers across the region contribute a significant amount to maintaining the health of the catchment. The management of land requires a large investment in both monetary terms and time. In the 2019 Social Benchmarking report, Professor Alan Curtis identified that of the nearly 600 respondents, 75% placed value on passing on a healthier environment.
Landcare groups and networks within the Corangamite Region play a key role in contributing to the delivery of the Regional Catchment Strategy having a major presence across the region. Landcare coverage within the region is identified in the Regional Maps section of this strategy, further information about Landcare in the region is available under the Landcare page of the Corangamite CMA website or from the Victorian Landcare Gateway.
In addition the region has a large citizen science base that contributes to the knowledge base for the region.
Industry Investment and Not for Profit Organisations
Southern Farming Systems is a farmer driven, non-profit organisation helping high rainfall farmers with independent, relevant, practical research and information that produces sustainable results.
WestVic Dairy is a regional team set up by Dairy Australia in the 1990s to deliver dairy extension activities and programs.
Trust for Nature partners with private landholders in Victoria to protect native plants and wildlife for future generations. Together with conservation covenants and reserves, we have protected more than 100,000 hectares across Victoria.
During the renewal of the RCS the CMA engaged with many other relevant industry groups who have expressed a desire to be more closely involved during implementation.
In addition to those organisations listed above, the Corangamite region works in partnership with the Australian Government to improve the natural resources of the region in numerous ways. The Australian Government’ Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment currently invests within the region through two major programs that support the delivery of its outcomes and priorities, namely Regional Land Partnerships and the Environmental Restoration Fund. The Corangamite Regional Land Partnerships – Natural Resource Management Plan 2022 to 2027 can be accessed here.