Community planning for natural resource management is not new to the Burnett Mary region. Landcare and Integrated Catchment Management groups have operated in this region, directed by various strategies, since the 1980’s. The Australian Government sale of Telstra provided Natural Heritage Trust 1 funds that supported many natural resource projects across the region. The National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality provided for establishment of the BMRG and the development of the first whole-of-region plan to focus management actions – Country to Coast 2005 NRM Plan. A Regional Investment Strategy, Regional Asset Targets and Interim Targets supported implementation of Country to Coast.
Between 2008 and 2014 the Burnett Mary Regional group for Natural Resource Management (BMRG) focused on delivery of the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country outcomes.
In 2010 the BMRG partnered with the then (Queensland) Department of Environment and Resource Management to develop a co-ordinating plan for natural resource management across State agencies and councils. The Wide Bay Burnett Environment and Natural Resource Management Plan 2012-2031 was prepared to support the environment and natural resource management directions of the statutory Wide Bay Burnett regional plan. A change in statutory regional planning directions followed the Queensland elections of 2012, with the consequence that neither plan was released. Despite the NRM plan’s non-release, significant region-specific provisions were drafted and analysis undertaken.
Thus, the Burnett Mary Natural Resource Management and Climate Adaptation Plan 2015 is not a start-up initiative, it builds extensively on previous plans, natural resource management experience in this part of the world and evidence-based input from land managers and researchers. It is purposely aspirational and broad in its approach. Its aim is to address non-statutory natural resource priorities for all Burnett Mary stakeholders – from landholders and land managers, to community and “care” groups, to industry and sector organisations.