Past Plans

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.

The current plan

In 2013 BMRG was contracted by the Australian Government to revise its natural resource management plan, and incorporate consideration of the potential impacts of projected climate change. This revision responds to the Australian Government’s aim to improve regional planning for climate change and help guide the location of carbon and biodiversity activities.  The revised plan incorporates region-tailored research, funded under the same program and including climate change projections.

Catchment, industry, Landcare and “local expert” groups, as well as motivated individuals, were engaged in a process that reviewed past planning provisions, explored climate vulnerabilities and recommended future directions for the region’s management of natural resources.

Assets and aspirations

This plan constitutes a strategic framework for natural resource management in the region.  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.

The plan focuses on the region’s assets – high value features of the natural and cultural environment.  For each asset a strategic direction is identified, along with an accompanying set of 2020 targets to help deliver the vision.  Desired outcome statements accompany some targets, for clarification.

It should be noted that:

  1. assets are often NOT EXCLUSIVE to a single asset class; for example, a wetland vegetation community might be considered in both the “Freshwater” and “Plants and Animals” themes of this plan
  2. the plan does not distinguish between 2020 targets focused on resource condition and those focused on management action
  3. more detail relating to targets is included in the asset background reports.

BMRG’s use of this NRM plan

This plan particularly provides a focus for the BMRG board as it pursues its vision – to protect and enhance the agricultural and natural environment of the Burnett Mary region for future generations.

Provisions of the Burnett Mary NRM and Climate Adaptation Plan 2015 will underpin management decisions of the BMRG board, as captured in BMRG’s current strategic plan. Two key result areas (below) of the strategic plan highlight the plan’s significance to BMRG.

Governance

Goal – BMRG is a robust and progressive organisation with best practice management and governance
Outcome Strategy Success measure
The Burnett Mary Regional NRM Plan facilitates prioritisation and implementation of key actions Support the development and implementation of the Regional NRM Plan The Burnett Mary Regional NRM Plan is successfully developed and reviewed regularly

Delivery

Goal – Implement appropriate actions that protect and enhance our regions natural resources
Outcome Strategy Success measure
All BMRG projects align with the regional NRM Plan All projects to be checked against goals and actions of the NRM plan Random audits demonstrate that projects align with the regional NRM plan
Thus, the plan has an ongoing and vital role for the BMRG and the region’s other organisations delivering improved natural resource management outcomes.