Wheatbelt NRM new force in land management

Thursday, 13th August 2009

People living in the WA Wheatbelt are being asked to help shape the future of natural resource management in their backyard. Previously known as the Avon Catchment Council, the group has undergone major changes and is now known as the Wheatbelt NRM. The group will continue to be funded by the State and Australian governments and will this financial year have an operating budget of $4.2 million. The changes will give community groups more input into how the Wheatbelt’s natural resources are managed including waterways, vegetation and agricultural land. The Wheatbelt NRM chairperson Glenice Batchelor said in the past, the most successful projects have been the ones with community involvement. “These changes will make it easier to do this in the future,” Glenice Batchelor said. The changes will include the formation of three reference groups representing the Yilgarn, Avon and Lockhart catchments. “If you’re an individual and want to influence a particular NRM issue that affects you, you could do this by joining one of these reference groups,” Glenice Batchelor said. “On top of this, community groups including catchment, wildlife and agricultural bodies can also sign up to be voting members of Wheatbelt NRM to have their say.” Individuals can also become associate members of Wheatbelt NRM the their website www.wheatbeltnrm.org.au and receive an electronic bi-weekly newsletter to keep informed of NRM happenings in the Avon and available incentive schemes. Wheatbelt NRM will continue with much of the hard work undertaken by the Avon Catchment Council, including the planting of a million trees in the last couple of months. Wheatbelt NRM represents an area larger than the size of Tasmania, stretching from Coolgardie in the east, through to Wundowie, south to Lake Grace and north to Beacon. More information: Glenice Batchelor, Wheatbelt NRM chairperson, 0428 371221