High achievers in natural resource management

Winners of the West Gippsland Lyrebird Awards, which honour and promote outstanding achievements in natural resource management, will be announced in Inverloch on Friday, 8 December.

West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA) Chair, Peter Jennings, said the Lyrebird Awards help raise the profile of natural resource management legends, as well as issues facing the region.

“We have an impressive spread of nominees from across the WGCMA region,” said Mr Jennings.

The nominees are

  • Angus Hume – Inverloch
  • Barbara Johnson – Traralgon
  • Bass Coast Shire Council, Strategic Planning Team – Wonthaggi
  • David MacAulay – Stacey’s Bridge
  • Gary Howard – Sale
  • Martin Potts – Lakes Entrance (for work around Lake Wellington, Red Gum Grassy Plains and Perry River catchment)
  • David Sutton – Inverloch

Mr Jennings praised the nominees for the significant contribution to natural resource management made within their communities.

“All nominees have an impressive commitment and passion for making a difference,” continued Mr Jennings.

“We as a community face very real environmental challenges, including how we manage the impacts of climate change, how we can support our farming community to provide enough food for our growing populations and how we can protect Gippsland’s unique natural environment now and in the future.

“It’s people and groups like our nominees who are helping communities face these challenges.”

 Lyrebird award nominees

Barbara Johnson, Traralgon

Barbara Johnson has been nominated for her contribution as a WGCMA Board member, advisory group member and chair of the Regional Landcare Forum for more than eight years.

Barb is a long-time advocate for natural resource management and community education – particularly in the agricultural sector. Her enthusiasm for Landcare in the region is shown through her genuine commitment to regional Landcare.

Angus Hume, Inverloch

It’s hard to find a bigger advocate for catchment management than Inverloch’s Angus Hume.

Angus has been involved in every aspect of West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority life from Board Chair to CEO and director.

Angus remains chair of the Victorian Catchment Management Council and is also on the board at Southern Rural Water. He is an enthusiastic advocate for partnerships with Traditional Owners in natural resource management and has always encouraged WGCMA to form a strong relationship with Traditional Owner groups.

Bass Coast Shire Council, Strategic Planning Team

In 2016, Bass Coast Shire Council introduced a planning scheme control which maps the impact of sea level rise as a result of climate change. The mapping considers the impacts of coastal inundation both now and out to 2100, which helps reduce the impacts of climate change to individuals and the overall cost to the community by ensuring appropriate development.

This is believed to be the first time in Australia  the impact of sea level rise out to 2100 has been mapped and included in the planning scheme via a Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO).

David MacAulay, Stacey’s Bridge

Described as ‘an all round lovely bloke’ and ‘generous with his knowledge’, David has been nominated for his involvement in many natural resource management groups including the Yarram Yarram Landcare Network board, Jack and Albert River Restoration Project Committee, leader of Gippsland Riparian Action (GipRip) project and West Gippsland Advisory Committee Member.

David has been an active member of the Albert River Landcare Group for more than 30 years and is a past Landcare award winner.

He has hosted multiple field days at his property, offered activities for school children and is a natural leader.

Gary Howard, Sale

Gary is the driving force behind the Heart Morass Restoration Project which has achieved an amazing transformation of the 1,200ha of land owned and managed for restoration by Field and Game Australia.

Gary brings first hand experience of observed changes to the estuaries, wetlands and riparian environments of the Gippsland Lakes. He has played a key role in improving many government plans and management in key areas with his addition of local knowledge.

Gary influences environmental management not just at the strategic level – but on the ground. He is often at Heart Morass, hosting school tours, treating weeds, planting trees or Waterwatch testing.

Martin Potts, Lakes Entrance

Through his work with Greening Australia, Marty has made a considerable contribution to recreating habitat in the landscape. Through his work with landowners, 65% of Lake Wellington wetlands on private land are now being managed for conservation.

Marty has been a leader in considering the impacts of climate change on revegetation work. He noticed his revegetation sites are being noticeably drier, so he has now included seed from drought tolerant Forest Red Gum into the revegetation seed mix to be planted across the Gippsland plain.

David Sutton, Inverloch

David is a long serving member of the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority Community Advisory Group and the South Gippsland Conservation Society. His focus has not just been in the Bass Coast area, but he has extended his valuable contribution across south and central Gippsland. David has helped with local input into the Regional Catchment Strategy, led community education activities and is heavily involved in coastal conservation management.

David is a great community asset and another worthy nominee.

Barbara Johnson
Angus Hume
Bass Coast Shire Council's Strategic Planning team
David MacAulay
Gary Howard
Martin Potts
David Sutton