Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority

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The Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority (CMA) lies south of the Great Dividing Range, the region contains areas of scenic beauty, magnificent and dramatic coastline, superb national parks and rich biodiversity.

Glenelg Hopkins region[edit]

The region spans some 2.6 million hectares and extends from Ballarat in the Central Highlands of Victoria, Australia, west to the South Australian border and south to the coast. The southern two thirds are characterised by flat volcanic plains while the Grampians, Dundas Tablelands and Black Ranges dominate the northern third.

The region has three major river drainage basins - the Hopkins, Glenelg and Portland Coast. The lower section of the Glenelg River is heritage listed for its environmental significance. Salt-wedge estuaries at the mouth of rivers entering the sea are environmentally significant. Extensive wetlands are a feature of the region and provide significant habitat for native biodiversity.

The Glenelg Hopkins region has a range of natural assets in the form of biodiversity, waterways and wetlands, soils, forests and coastal areas. These natural resources support a unique quality of life.

The south west region is an important part of provincial Victoria and boasts a diverse range of lifestyle, investment and working opportunities. The main economic drivers are agriculture, fisheries, retail, manufacturing, health and community services, education and construction. Blue gum plantations and mineral sands mining are recent additions to the region’s industries.

Program Highlights[edit]

Community engagement plays a vital role in the success of all natural resource programs at Glenelg Hopkins CMA. Achieving meaningful long-term change in the health of the catchment and the way it is managed requires a holistic approach and investment in people and communities, as much as into on ground technical responses.

  • Glenelg Hopkins Environmental Achievement Awards – the awards recognise achievements by individuals, communities and business in natural resource management
  • Glenelg Hopkins CMA Partnership Project Scheme – supports individuals and groups to undertake works that promote sustainability and environmental protection
  • Glenelg Hopkins Waterwatch - the most well-recognised community engagement programs for the CMA, Waterwatch conducts a comprehensive program to regional schools as well as involving local communities in the environmental monitoring of local waterways.
  • Drought Employment Program – in 2006/2007 Glenelg Hopkins CMA received considerable funding from the State government to assist drought affected farmers and farm community members. Taking on a partnership approach this program delivered environmental and community benefits.
  • Landcare – more than 150 Landcare, “friends of” and community based natural resource management groups are supported by Glenelg Hopkins CMA through Community Landcare Facilitators and the Waterwatch program.

An engaged catchment community that understands, supports, actively participates and has a strong sense of having control of programs that shape their landscape is the most powerful tool for achieving change.

Future Challenges[edit]

The key challenge for Glenelg Hopkins CMA is to continue to make natural resource management scientifically rigorous and socially relevant in the face of funding variations, lifestyle and populations changes, climate variability and increased demand for water resources.

The Habitat 141 project is an exciting mix of private and government initiatives that presents a unique opportunity to secure the future of the region’s greatest natural asset – the heritage listed Glenelg River. Locking in environmental water from the Wimmera Mallee pipeline savings for the Glenelg will be an important challenge. Combining community biodiversity improvements with productivity gains on farms and balancing public use and development with environmental protection of coasts and estuaries are the other major challenges.