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Area’s new natural resource management plan launched

By Mark Beale

WHITSUNDAY Regional Council is now a signatory of the new Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac (MWI) Natural Resource Management (NRM) Plan.

The new plan, covering the period from 2014-2024, was launched last Wednesday and will help set the bar for local natural resource management.

The Whitsunday, Mackay and Isaac regions have joined 56 areas across Australia in what is considered a major move to update and develop new, locally relevant NRM plans.

The new MWI plan has been developed with Reef Catchments in collaboration with a multitude of stakeholders, including the regions’ local governments, industry bodies and traditional owners.

The plan considers environmental, social, economic and political factors, while also identifying what the community would like to see the region look like in the future. To achieve this, a series of goals, outcomes and actions to improve future management of the regions’ vital natural resources are proposed.

Another of the plan’s aims is to provide a platform for the announcement of funding opportunities available to groups across the regions. These will include grants of between $5000 and $20,000 to address priorities identified in the NRM Plan.

NRM Plan co-ordinator Alice Spencer said the MWI plan represented the views and aspirations of the Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac communities and would help ensure future on-ground NRM activity addressed their priorities.

“We have tried to do the best possible job of capturing the communities’ values and visions for the future of the region via extensive consultation over the last 18 months [and] we hope that this document helps set direction for everyone involved in managing our natural resources, so we can continue to enjoy the benefits that these resources provide us,” she said.

Last Wednesday’s launch included the formal sign-on of NRM plan signatories.

Ms Spicer said by including a diverse range of people in the plan’s development, it was hoped some collaborative and creative solutions to regional issues and challenges would emerge.

The plan will be reviewed regularly to monitor how the MWI region is collectively tracking towards its goals.

The NRM Plan for 2014-2024 is available online at http://www.reefcatchments.com.au.

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