Active local people and communities are vital for ensuring the Wimmera’s land, water and biodiversity have a healthy future.

Catchment health is underpinned by the community’s capacity and interest in caring for land, water and biodiversity. The Wimmera’s large geographical area and small population means active stewardship, sharing of knowledge and resources and collaborations between organisations, community groups and individuals is vital to support continued action over time.

Planting at the Wimmera River near Horsham

Planting at the Wimmera River near Horsham

Every person and business that lives, works, recreates or has a special interest in the Wimmera uses and influences the natural environment. Human activity has the biggest influence on catchment condition. It is important that the region’s community is knowledgeable, skilled, motivated and informed.

This section focuses on supporting individuals and groups to connect to nature and care for the Wimmera’s land, water and biodiversity. Everyone has a role to play in effective environmental stewardship.

Organisations, groups and individuals in the Wimmera community have expressed the following as important:

  • Maintaining and improving the region’s liveability and wellbeing, including economic wellbeing.
  • Improving the region’s natural assets and leaving them in better condition for the next generation.
  • Providing opportunities for all the community to connect to nature.
  • Supporting a strong volunteering culture that improves outcomes for people, communities, and the natural environment they live, work or recreate in.
  • Ensuring communities are better prepared to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change, drought, flood and other natural hazards.

From time to time there will be polarising views and vigorous debate on certain topics. Respectful and considered communications will ensure that the Wimmera’s strong foundations of cooperation and collaboration continue.

Groups and individuals with particularly strong interests and influence in caring for the Wimmera’s natural environment include:

  • First Nations people
  • Landcare, “Friends of” and other groups involved in environmental volunteering
  • Primary producers
  • Non-commercial farmers and rural landholders
  • Corporate farming businesses
  • Mining and resource industry businesses
  • Schools and young people
  • Residents
  • Nature based user groups like anglers, birdwatchers, field naturalist, hunters and camera clubs
  • Wimmera-based businesses linked to the agricultural and eco-tourism sectors

These groupings are themselves diverse, constantly changing and often have shared or complementary values.