Catchment Management Authorities
Across Australia, there has been considerable degradation of land, water and biodiversity resources, which has, and will continue to have major impacts on rural communities, economic production and natural ecosystems. Recent drought, climate change and water supply and quality issues have been major contributors to this problem.
The Government of Victoria through Growing Victoria Together puts a very high priority on halting degradation and restoring our natural resources. Some of the key aims of Growing Victoria Together are to promote sustainable development, build cohesive communities and protect the environment for future generations. Achieving these outcomes is essential to revitalise rural communities and regional centres, maintain sustainable economic growth, and to ensure that our natural biodiversity is maintained for future generations.
The key goal of land and water management in Victoria is sustainable development, which requires the complex integration of ecological, economic and social objectives.
The Victorian Government is committed to integrated catchment management as an important way of achieving sustainability. In Victoria, the concept of integrated catchment management (ICM) underpins sustainable management of land and water resources and contributes to biodiversity management. Victoria's whole of catchment approach to natural resource management seeks to deliver environmental, social and economic outcomes for the community and reduce our ecological footprint.
Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs)Victoria has a strong integrated catchment management system established under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (the CaLP Act). Under the CaLP Act, Victoria is divided into ten catchment regions (see map above) and a Catchment Management Authority is established for each region. CMAs form a major part of the framework for achieving sustainable management of Victoria's land and water resources.
Government expectations of CMAs in the performance of their functions and the exercise of their powers under the CaLP Act to achieve integrated and sustainable catchment management are specified in the following Statements of Obligations, which commenced on 1 July 2007.
Corangamite CMA CaLP Act Statement of Obligations
East Gippsland CMA CaLP Act Statement of Obligations
Glenelg Hopkins CMA CaLP Act Statement of Obligations
Goulburn Broken CMA CaLP Act Statement of Obligations
Mallee CMA CaLP Act Statement of Obligations
North Central CMA CaLP Act Statement of Obligations
North East CMA CaLP Act Statement of Obligations
Port Phillip & Westernport CMA CaLP Act Statement of Obligations
West Gippsland CMA CaLP Act Statement of Obligations
Wimmera CMA CaLP Act Statement of Obligations
The Statements of Obligations are the same for each CMA, however the application of section ‘24 Land Stewardship – Salinity Management’ varies between CMAs. They will remain in force until reviewed or revoked and may be reviewed on an as-needs basis.
The Statements compliment Statements of Obligations issued in October 2006 to CMAs under the Water Act 1989 which address CMA responsibilities under the Water Act for waterway management and river health. To achieve these outcomes, Victoria has six principles that govern the way catchment management is implemented throughout the State. They are:
1. Sustainable Development
Victoria’s whole of catchment approach to natural resource management seeks to deliver social, economic and environmental outcomes for the community and reduce our ecological footprint.
2. Community Empowerment
Catchment management is a partnership between community and Government. Planning and implementation of natural resource management programs should maximise opportunities for community engagement.
3. Integrated Management
Management of natural resources should recognise the linkages between land and water and that the management of one component can impact on the other.
4. Targeted Investment
Government and community need to ensure that resources are targeted to address priorities and deliver maximum on-ground benefits.
Those making decisions on natural resource management should be clearly accountable to Government and the community, both in a financial sense and for biophysical outcomes.
6. Administrative Efficiency
To maximise on-ground results catchment management structures should facilitate more efficient procedures and practices.
Victorian CMAs are public entities under the Public Administration Act 2004 (the PAA), which provides for a number of duties to be followed by Boards and their directors in order to ensure the effective operation and performance of the CMAs.
The CMA StructureThe basic structure of a CMA is designed to maximise community involvement in decision-making.
This structure comprises:
1. The Board - who are directly responsible for the development of strategic direction for land and water management in the Region. They set priorities, evaluate the effectiveness of outcomes, monitor the external and internal environment and identify opportunities.
2. The Implementation Committees (ICs) are the conduits for local community input, and are responsible for the development of detailed work programs and the oversight of on-ground program delivery for specific issues or sub-catchments.
3. The Staff are there to support the Board and ICs, oversee development and implementation of programs and liaise with the community, government and other catchment-focused organisations.