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RDC WangarattaNatural Resource Management and Climate Change

North East Catchment
Management Authority

Complications of Grazing Management for Biodiversity Conservation and Productivity Outcomes in Threatened Grassy Woodlands of Northern Victoria

An evaluation undertaken as part of a $1.2M project, titled Improving Grassy Woodlands of Northern Victoria. The project was funded by the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative and the Victorian Government’s Natural Resources Investment Program. It is supported by a range of partners including the North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA), the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, Trust for Nature and the Australian National University. The North East Catchment Management Authority (NECMA) is the lead project partner. The project is located in Victoria’s North East and North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) regions. The aim of the evaluation was to assess the implications of grazing management for biodiversity conservation and productivity outcomes, in the context of two EPBC Acts listed threatened species and ecological communities (“threatened grassy woodlands”).

North East Catchment
Management Authority

Enhancing CMA Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting

The North East CMA established this project on behalf of all Victorian CMAs to identify issues and opportunities for enhancing their Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting (MER) processes and of developing more effective, integrated MER. The purpose of the project was to develop a common CMA reporting approach for Resource Condition Targets (RCTs) and Management Action Targets (MATs). The RCTs and MATs address all aspects of the environment including water management and use. In doing so the project assists in addressing a number of issues including (i) ensuring alignment between CMA monitoring and reporting and State and national monitoring and reporting initiatives (ii) enhancing CMA capacity to report to their regional communities on progress with natural resource management; and (iii) enhancing the capacity of CMAs to use the outcomes of monitoring and reporting in their investment planning and preparation of Catchment Condition Reports and Regional Catchment Strategies (RCSs).


Namoi Catchment
Management Authority

Namoi Catchment Action Plan and Communications

The Namoi CAP is subject to review and updating on a regular basis. As part of this process the Namoi CMA contracts and carries out strategic investigations to inform the CAP update and review progress towards achieving targets documented within each theme of the CAP. This project involved a review of the research results to update the CAP and the development of a range of communication products that will help the Namoi CMA to share with the Community and other stakeholders the implications and meaning of the new information across a range of topics. By sharing this information in a targeted, clear and concise manner, the Namoi community gained a greater appreciation of progress towards targets contained within the CAP. The products developed for this project include summaries, posters, web content, fact sheets and newsletter abstracts. Critical to this project was the development of these products within the context of the “resilience” approach ensuring that the language used is simple, readily understood and tailored to the target audience. In addition to development of the communication products, the teamdeveloped a Communication Plan detailing a series of recommendations on which method of communication will be most appropriate for different target audiences within the Namoi community.

Goulburn-Murray Water

Landowner Evaluation, Irrigation Modernisation and Connections

This project involved the evaluation of landowners throughout Northern Victoria to gauge their satisfaction with the Farm Irrigation Assessment Program, connections and modernisation. This project involved survey, evaluation and analysis of the modernisation program. This evaluation formed part of the NVIRP Connections Program Quality Assurance Framework. One hundred landholders were surveyed as part of the evaluation. Survey techniques included a mailed survey and “face to face” interviews.


Corangamite Catchment
Management Authority

Evaluation of the Status of Completion of Approved Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Regional Catchment Strategy Activities

Catchment Management Authorities in Victoria (CMAs) have developed comprehensive natural resource management plans (the Regional Catchment Strategy) to guide future investment and activity in a strategic and deliberate manner. Central to these plans are themed based catchment targets (Resource Condition Targets) aligned to the aspirational statements of desired states of catchment health and Management Action Targets (MATs) that articulate the vehicle for achieving the Resource Condition Targets (RCTs). This project involved an audit of the progress towards four Resource Condition Targets (RCTs) within the Corangamite Regional Catchment Strategy which have been selected by the Corangamite CMA. These have been selected out of approximately 50 RCTs which focus on a selection of disciplines across the asset threat framework. The key driver for the audit was to assess whether there are logical causal relationships between management actions and resource condition change required to meet the RCTs. In doing so, this audit provides the opportunity for identification of deficiencies and changes in management responses prior to renewal of the Corangamite RCS in 2008.

North Central Catchment
Management Authority

Lake Eppalock Special Area Plan

The overall aim of this project was to protect water quality and supply, and its beneficial uses. As well as the production of the SAP, the project needed to gain the acceptance of the community. This was achieved by a comprehensive stakeholder and community consultation program and a technically robust and defensible process for the preparation of the plan.The Plan succeeded in clearly articulating the assets and values that underpin the catchment of Lake Eppalock and future use and management of the area, and integrating land use planning processes, catchment management and water supply protection activities, in consideration with social, environmental and economic issues. The Plan evaluated and recommended the need for Land Use Conditions required for successful implementation of the SAP.


Loxton to Bookpurnong
Local Action Planning Group

Pyap to Kingston Land & Water Management Strategy

The Pyap to Kingston Land and Water Management Plan aimed to provide a strategic approach and establish an ongoing implementation framework for the management of land and water resources within the Pyap to Kingston On Murray Land & Water Management Planning area in the South Australian Riverland region. The Plan aimed to identify and protect the important sustainability values associated with the study area by outlining key priority land and water management issues, and through a multi-stakeholder consultation process has defined a range of land and water resource management actions which have been further translated into aspirational resource condition targets and costed management options.

Goulburn-Murray Water

Land and On-Water Management Plans

Development of the Land and On-Water Management Plans for major Goulburn-Murray Water storages including Lake Hume, Lake Eildon and Lake Eppalock. The aim of the Plans is to better strategically target and respond to key natural and cultural resource management issues, develop an adaptive management system to involve and empower key stakeholders involved in the use and management of the storage foreshores in cost‐effective management strategies.


North East Greenhouse Alliance

Water in North East Victoria Socioeconomic adaption planning – Stakeholders behavioral study; stakeholder and community engagement to identify risks and opportunities associated with a low water future; and development of communications, engagement, promotion and public relations strategy for the overall project.

RDC undertook the Stakeholders Behavioral Study and Analysis as part of Phase 3 of Adapting to a Low Water Future project funded by the Australian Government under the Strengthening Basin Communities funding program focusing on the development and delivery of practical solutions for the North East Greenhouse Alliance. The key purpose of this study was to identify drivers and constraints (barriers) for key stakeholders in the North East region to implementing critical actions for Adapting to a Low Water Future, and to make recommendations to overcome the barriers and capitalise on the opportunities. RDC also conducted workshops and focus group consultations with local governments, key water authorities and state government agencies to identify and rate risks related to a Low Water Future, and subsequently consulted on the development of appropriate adaptation responses (in conjunction with Marsden Jacob Associates) and recently undertook stakeholder engagement for Phase 2 of the project: Adapting to a Low Water Future – climate change risk assessment (in conjunction with Marsden Jacob Associates; RDC undertaking stakeholder engagement). In addition, RDC worked in conjunction with SOCOM to develop a Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy which included promotions and public relations.

Strathbogie Shire Council

Strengthening Strathbogie in a Changing Climate

In partnership with Marsden Jacob Associates, RDC conducted the community and stakeholder engagement to develop a strategy for ‘Strengthening Strathbogie in a Changing Climate’, developing a risk assessment and leading to a holistic adaptation strategy. RDC enabled effective and efficient community and stakeholder consultation and engagement and ensured ownership and buy-in of relevant parties.


Western Port Greenhouse Alliance

Western Port Greenhouse Alliance Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation in Western Port Region Scoping Report

The project was undertaken in conjunction with Marsden Jacobs and CSIRO. The project set out to improve understanding of the scientific, economic and social impacts of climate change in the Western Port Region (including vulnerable coastal areas) in order to enhance the capacity and knowledge of local governments and other decision-makers in the region to prepare for and adapt to climate change; and develop an approach to climate change assessment and adaptation that has transferability to other regions in Australia. RDC conducted the stakeholder and communications aspects of the project. The project was awarded a Victorian Coastal Award for Excellence in the innovation category by the Victorian Coastal Council (a Victorian Government agency responsible for management of Victoria’s coastline).

Department Primary Industries

Farm Planning Review

The purpose of this project was to undertake a review of seven years’ delivery of farm planning in the Goulburn Broken Catchment by the DPI. The objectives of the review were to understand the range of benefits of the program and the evidence available to support these assumptions, evaluate the linkage between participating in Whole Farm Planning and the implementation of beneficial farm management practices on an individual property scale, identify the principles or success factors for effectively converting farm planning into on ground works  and understand the role of complementary tools in improving the outcomes of property management planning. The key outcome for this project was to gather and analyse the evidence of the range of benefits of the whole farm planning course and development of a set of principles or success factors for effectively converting farm planning into on ground works.


Department Primary Industries

Farmers Markets

Designing and facilitating a series of workshops to be conducted around Victoria about the future of the Australian Farmers Market Association as a membership based organisation, and the possibility of “branded”, accredited Farmers Markets.