The Victorian Catchment Management Council (VCMC) is the State Government’s key advisory body on catchment management. As an independent, expert body, the Council is well placed to influence change in working towards its vision for catchment management in Victoria, taking a statewide, long-term and strategic view.
VCMC’s Vision: Victoria will have healthy rivers flowing through ecologically sustainable and productive catchments.
The VCMC is appointed under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (CaLP Act). Its major statutory roles are: to advise the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Water, and any other Minister as requested, on land and water management issues; to report annually on the operation of the CaLP Act; and to report every five years on the environmental condition and management of Victoria's land and water resources, through the VCMC Catchment Condition Report.
Council has a significant role in drawing together the combined, broad based expertise and experience of its members to provide high level, strategic advice, whether at Cabinet or individually to the Victorian Government, notably our lead Minister, Lisa Neville and the Water portfolio. Minister Lily D’Ambrosio and her portfolio covering environment/biodiversity and climate change and the Agriculture Minister, Jaclyn Symes are each of significant importance in how VCMC frames advice to government in the statewide context.
Council is responsible to government for advice framed on having key partnerships in and beyond the legislative and departmental frameworks. Council manages a pluralistic community-based set of engagements through regional, state and national structures providing a basis for strong future planning.
Typical of these relationships at a regional level is with the Catchment Management Authorities and their communities. More broadly Council members with their associations bring additional breadth through Landcare, Traditional Owners, water authorities and Vic Water, the Municipal Association of Victoria, the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, the Marine and Coastal Council, NGOs such as Greening Australia, Trust for Nature and farmer representative organisations such as Victorian Farmers Federation and the National Farmers Federation. This group is illustrative of the means of engagement, which is so important in linking government policy and projects to Victoria’s communities.
VCMC’s strength lies in the members of Council coming from across the whole of Victoria, and the capacity of the Council as a whole to provide broad-ranging natural resource management advice to Government and our partners.
Angus Hume, Chair