The five Local Areas in the Wimmera Regional Catchment Strategy focus on distinct parts of the region and explain how the themes come together and integrate in each place. The Local Areas are based around local government and catchment boundaries.
Figure 14: Local Areas in the Wimmera
The Local Areas recognise the importance of community- driven outcomes, participation and management. They:
- Highlight the knowledge and priorities of local communities,
- Recognise that the characteristics of land, water, biodiversity and community vary across the region,
- Integrate the themes of land, water and biodiversity in a way that is meaningful and relevant for local communities, and
- Identify opportunities for organisations and communities to partner and collaborate to achieve local outcomes.
The Wimmera region overlaps with large and small portions of eight local government areas. This strategy groups local government areas where part of their area is in the Wimmera and they have similar integrated catchment management characteristics. Figure 14 shows the Local Areas as:
- West Wimmera
- Yarriambiack and Buloke
- Upper Catchment (including parts of Ararat, Northern Grampians and Pyrenees local government areas).
Each Local Area section describes:
- Land, water and biodiversity characteristics and values,
- The condition of land, water and biodiversity and significant trends,
- Major challenges, threats and drivers of change,
- Desired outcomes for the future, and
- Priority directions required to achieve the outcomes, focussing on priorities for integrated catchment management involving partnerships and collaborations with stakeholder organisations, community groups and individuals.
Like the Theme sections, each Local Area section identifies the medium and long-term integrated catchment management outcomes the region is seeking to achieve for water, land, biodiversity and community. The outcomes seek to be “SMART;” meaning they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound.
The Local Area sections do not contain targets that specify management outputs. Regional sub-strategies and action plans will set out the specific management actions and priority locations for activities that will achieve the Regional Catchment Strategies (RCS)’s outcomes.
There are many important things to achieve for integrated catchment management in each Local Area. The outcomes and priority directions included in the RCS are considered the highest priorities for each Local Area based on the best available science, and knowledge and information contributed by stakeholders and the regional community. Outcomes and priority directions included for some sections may also be relevant for other Themes or Local Areas. They have only been included in the sections where they are the highest priority. Each outcome is important, and they are not listed in any order of priority.