Both Local Government and the Murray CMA set future directions on behalf of the community to ensure a sustainable environment which supports economically and socially viable communities. By developing partnerships and embracing co-planning opportunities the needs of the community can be serviced more efficiently and effectively.
The Murray CMA has recently held discussions with a number of councils regarding the possibility of undertaking partnerships and embracing co-planning opportunities. These meetings have included discussions of the Integrated Planning and Reporting (IPR) approach and in particular Community Strategic Plans (CSP).
As Local Government canvasses the community for relevant and priority issues the Murray CMA is also in the process of updated its Catchment Action Plan which will guide investment and resources for 5 years following its adoption. As a result both the CMA and Local Governments have realized the great potential for the exchange of data and partnership projects to address community needs.
Co-Planning and Partnership Opportunities1. Exchange of Data- Provision of data to council from the CMA held community asset identification workshops- Provision of data to Murray CMA from council from the community surveys- Provision of data sets to Local Government held and owned by Murray CMA where possible
2. Congruent review periods for the Community Strategic Plan and Catchment Action Plan so as to allow for the continued exchange of data and so as both local and regional scale issues can be considered in each plan
3. Natural Resource Management Delivery Plans as a way forward for agreed partnership projects (see below for a list of example projects)
4. Capacity Building Opportunities to allow up-skilling of Local Government staff in areas of Natural Resource Management.
Possible Activities for CollaborationThis is not an exhaustive list but instead just some possible ideas
Valued Natural Resource Assets- Identify assets of value to the community- Strategy to protect and manage valued assets- Provision of resources and grants to assist community projectsEnvironmentally Sensitive Areas- ESA Mapping included in LEPs- Strategy for directing settlement away from ESA – specific for each theme- Develop an environmental policy and associated DCP to protect Environmentally Sensitive Areas including protection and landscape design requirements- Covenants, PVP etc for protecting ESA within development areas- Community education program
Biodiversity Management- Identification of high biodiversity areas, connectivity etc- plan of management for high conservation areas- staff training programs e.g. ID, importance of groundcover, stream protection, pollution control- community education programRoadside Vegetation Management- Review of roadside vegetation plans- Digitising of roadside vegetation plans where data is up to date- Strategy to ensure roadside vegetation plan is adopted by council- Collection of firewood- Training of council staff- Community education program
Public Land Management- Identification of public lands managed by council- Identification of natural resource assets within this land including a priority ranking- Ensure appropriate zoning / controls- Management strategies and possible projects -bushfire management, soil erosion control, vegetation management including revegetation, grazing management, pest control , fencing, interpretative signage, walks, etc- Possible funding sources / partnership arrangements- Community participation through consultation, community based committees, working bees etc- Staff and community education programs
Community Education- Birds of the area / flight routes - pamphlets, posters, talks, school education etc- Mammals of the area – pamphlets, posters, talks, school education etc- Vegetation of the area – posters, pamphlets, revegetation sheets- Importance of riparian areas and wetlands – field days, school talks, posters etc- Importance of native vegetation - field days, brochures- Native backyard brochure – prepare and distribute, open day at private gardens- Council environmental committee to consider and endorse environmental management programs- Recognition and awards for group or individual contributions- Education and awareness programs – safe septics, water wise, native vegetation, biodiversity various land management issues etc- Competition for ideas for environmental education – schools and community – to be funded and supported- Natural resource focused colouring in competition in schools with associated talks and activities- Community gardens – veggie patch or biodiversity areas
Partnerships- Apply for joint funding to get a dedicated officer across councils for NRM initiatives- Environmental committee with NRM agencies, research groups, education groups and other council- Relationships with schools to deliver NRM projects and support in school projects- Relationship with local nurseries to ensure locally native species available and then a scheme to supplement or grant natives to residents
Below are the latest Local Government E-bulletins
The Murray CMA is a partner to the Australian Government Caring for our Country program and the NSW Government Catchment Action program.