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Caring for Country

Caring for Country - A sustainable land management guide for rural living in north central Victoria.

Crops, pastures, horses, salinity, revegetation...there are so many possibilities and potential obstacles associated with owning your own property that it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.

The latest edition of the Caring for Country land management guide aims to assist new and existing land managers, particularly those in the rural living zone, to protect the health of their land and the broader environment.  It provides a starting point for information on a variety of topics related to sustainable land management.

It will help you care for your land - your soil, biodiversity, waterways, plants and animal life - so that it will be in better shape for the next generation.

Hard copies of the guide are available free of charge to landholders in north central Victoria by contacting the North Central CMA on 03 5448 7124 or emailing info@nccma.vic.gov.au.  Copies are also available from the City of Greater Bendigo, Macedon Ranges Shire Council and Mount Alexander Shire Council.

Caring for Country

Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Plan

Following months of community and stakeholder engagement the regionally endorsed 2015 North Central Region Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Plan is released.

The aim of the plan is to incorporate adaptation and mitigation approaches in future environmental planning.

Land managers and the wider community in the North Central region are no strangers to the effects of climate change and climate variability. In recent times they have experienced major climate events including the Millennium drought and the 2010/11 floods. While the floods caused major damage in some areas they also brought significant benefits to biodiversity, especially in our rivers and wetlands.

These events send a strong signal that we need to prepare now if the future climate change projections for the region are realised. Such events in the future will impact significantly on the region's environment, economy and community.

In order to better prepare for the future challenge of climate change the North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA), with funding from the Australian Government, has worked with partner organisations to develop a regional climate change plan.

Corporate plan

The North Central CMA Corporate Plans are prepared in accordance with Sections 19C and 19D of the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.

The Corporate Plan, together with the North Central CMA Annual Report, provides the basis for:

North Central Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS)

The 2013-19 North Central Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS) provides long-term vision for natural resource management within the North Central CMA region. 

The North Central RCS vision is ‘a community active in protecting and enhancing the integrity of its catchment'. To achieve this the RCS sets regional priorities for the management of natural assets, sets overall direction for investment and coordination of effort by landholders, partner organisations and the wider community. It provides a framework that supports and encourages participation in protecting and enhancing our environment.

North Central Waterway Strategy

The 2014-22 North Central Waterway Strategy is an integrated strategy for managing and improving the region’s waterways (rivers, streams and wetlands). The strategy sets priorities and outlines a regional work program to guide investment over the next eight years. The strategy also guides coordination of efforts by landholders, partner organisations and the wider community. 

The waterways of the North Central CMA region have economic, environmental, cultural and social importance. They provide the community with water for drinking, irrigation and industry, are a focal point for recreation and tourism, support unique environmental values and have strong cultural and historic significance.

The regional community highly values the region’s waterways and recognises that a coordinated and collaborative approach is required to improve their current condition.

Reconciliation Action Plan

In 2018 we launched our Reconciliation Action Plan. The plan's vision is 'walking and working together on Country with Traditional Owners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations to equally care for Country'.  

The plan, endorsed by the North Central CMA Board in October 2018, provides the CMA with actions that recognise the ongoing connection Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have with Country and tangible measures towards restorative justice. Since its endorsement, a number of initiatives have been achieved:

  • Paid cultural leave provisions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in our Enterprise Bargaining Agreement
  • The establishment of a Reconciliation Working Group
  • Key partnership projects such as the Yung Balug Djarra, Dja Dja Wurrung, Healthy Country Planning - Djandak, Gatjin and Wi (Land, Water and Fire) at Boort
  • Engagement of businesses such as Djandak, Woka Walla, Barapa Land and Water and Taungurung works crews in the delivery of on-ground works on Country
  • Staff and Board member participation in cultural awareness training with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation.
  • Two young Aboriginal students employed in a school-based traineeship

North Central Victoria Regional Sustainable Agriculture Strategy

Agriculture in north central Victoria continues to undergo rapid change and to achieve greater agricultural sustainability there needs to be a balance
between achieving greater farming productivity whilst protecting the natural resource base and investing in the capacity of our agricultural community.

The North Central Victoria Regional Sustainable Agriculture Strategy sets the strategic direction to seize growth opportunities by increasing the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, addressing changes faced by the agriculture industry while protecting the natural resource base on which agriculture depends.

Soil Health Guide North Central Victoria

The North Central CMA's Soil Health Guide is a practical tool that provides instructions for farmers on how to conduct visual soil assessments in the paddock in order to identify possible soil health issues. Farmers are able to relate soil health observations and results to soil condition, limits to production and management actions to improve soil health. The guide provides information to help identify possible soil health issues using nine simple visual tests conducted in the paddock.

The guide also includes a score card for farmers to record test results. These results will assist decision making and facilitate practice change for a sustainable and profitable agriculture sector across north central Victoria. 

Social Benchmarking Report for Natural Resource Management

The 2019 North Central Social Benchmarking Survey is part of a Southern Cross University (SCU) project jointly funded by the Soil CRC and the North Central CMA. 

North Central CMA and Soil CRC staff worked together to review and revise the 2014 survey.

Data gathered from the 2019 survey will contribute to the wider Soil CRC research portfolio and provide the CMA with valuable data regarding the region's social/farming structure and an understanding of landholder adoption of best-practice natural resource management.

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