Engaging the community

If you’re passionate about how our natural resources are managed, the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA) needs you.

The WGCMA is looking for a cross section of the community to provide input and perspectives on approaches to Natural Resource Management.

“One of our key priorities is to improve catchment health by appropriately managing our natural resources,” explained CEO Martin Fuller.

“As a catchment management authority, we are committed to working with the community to protect and enhance the local and regional environment. A constant feature of our approach has been working with energetic local people and organisations.”

The new Community Engagement Network (CEN) replaces the Community Advisory Groups and Mr Fuller believes the new format provides an opportunity for increased input from the community.

“This new format will allow us to involve more community members, and hopefully provide a wider selection of experiences and views,” said Mr Fuller.

“The new approach won’t be onerous on participants. There will be two gatherings a year, but the Network forums will provide opportunities to exchange views and utilise modern methods of communication for the Network to stay connected.”

The Community Engagement Network will run for a three-year term. Mr Fuller is encouraging anyone who has a connection to the environment to consider putting in an application.

“It’s very important to get a diverse range of views, so whether you farm, or fish, are involved in forestry, interested in conservation or simply like to go camping, we’d love to have you as part of the Network.

“There are many ways people have that connection to the environment. You might run a business that uses natural resources or be employed by one. You might like to relax by bushwalking or bird watching or be part of a 4WD club. All of these provide a unique insight into our natural resources.

“Our aim is to provide a chance for people to come together, share information and identify the issues and barriers around managing our natural,” said Mr Fuller.

“The WGCMA will highlight the work it does, including our strategic documents and plans. There will be opportunities to provide input, helping to address the issues facing our community.”

Applications for the Community Engagement Network open on 25 January and close on 8 March. Members will be appointed by the WGCMA Board and will be remunerated for their contribution.

The appointment process will consider the community connections, familiarity with the region and understanding of Natural Resource Management of the applicants. Appointments will also consider diversity, geographical spread of members, a range of industry experiences and demographics, plus a balance of skills, knowledge and community involvement in NRM.

The Community Engagement Network application forms and Charter can be downloaded from https://www.wgcma.vic.gov.au/about-us/community-engagement-network.

Anyone needing more information on the application process or the role of the Community Engagement Network should contact Partnership and Engagement Programs Coordinator, Tony Gardner on 1300 094 262.

Volunteers tree planting
Climate and biodiversity top priority for Gippslanders Management (NRM) issues we face in Gippsland.