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Have your say on Gunbower Island

6 Sep 2017

The North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) is keen to hear what residents in and around Koondrook, Cohuna, Gunbower and Leitchville value about Gunbower Island.

In mid-September, Charles Sturt University (CSU) researchers will deliver 500 random surveys to residents in the area on behalf of the North Central CMA, seeking their views, values and ideas about the island.

“Gunbower Island is internationally recognised for its environmental values. The Island is also very important socially and economically to the local and broader region,” CSU Professor Allan Curtis said.

“This survey asks about how locals value Gunbower Island, the issues that are important to them, their knowledge of Gunbower Island and their views about how the area should be managed into the future.”

All results will be confidential and analysed by CSU.

North Central CMA Acting Project Manager Amy Russell said the information would be used to help manage a series of projects around the island.

“We manage three main environmental projects in the area worth more than $5 million, focussing on controlling pests, managing healthy river and wetland flows and improving awareness of the environmental and cultural values of Gunbower Island,” she said.

“A similar survey in 2014 coincided with the start of some of these projects, and this year’s survey is a chance to once again listen to the community three years on.

“It is a great opportunity for local residents to raise any concerns about the management of Gunbower Island and to highlight what they think is important about the forest.

“It doesn’t matter if you didn’t receive or complete and return a survey back in 2014. The survey is voluntary, but it is very important so we need you to complete and return it so it reflects the range of opinions of local people. “

The survey should take about 20 minutes to complete and extensive knowledge of Gunbower Island is not needed to complete it.

The results will be presented to the public in early 2018.

At no time will surveys be available to anyone outside the CSU team and the research has been approved by CSU’s human research ethics committee.

The research is through the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, a research alliance between CSU and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

The project is supported by the North Central CMA through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme and the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.