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.
By way of an update on the Council I am pleased to report significant progress on a number of levels. Whilst Minister for Water Lisa Neville remains our lead Minister, we now have a strong relationship with Minister for Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio in the provision of independent advice to Government.
I am pleased to say Council is making good progress with the preparation of the next Catchment Condition and Management Report, due for tabling in Parliament in October 2017. We have a Working Group of Council leading this project, chaired by Peta Maddy. All our staff are actively involved with various aspects of development and we have recruited the services of Dr Phil Wallis to lead the project. Significantly, we are in the fortunate position where we have the support and co-operation of many partner organisations and I am certainly encouraged by the depth of collaboration.
We continue to work closely with the Catchment Management Authorities at a number of levels and have provided input to both their Chief Executive Officer forum and Chairs forum.
Early in the year Minister Neville launched the 'Our Catchments Our Communities' strategy in a ceremony at Beaufort. It would be an understatement to say the importance of this integrated catchment management strategy, Victoria's first, is of significant importance in NRM not only in this State but nationally as well.
Angus Hume, Chair