NGT Submission to the South East Community Panel

NGT Submission to the South East Community Panel

For those that aren’t aware, this coming weekend a new “community panel” or “citizens jury” process of reviewing potential funding models for the South East Drainage Network gets underway.

NGT has a long-standing professional interest in the drainage network, its management and wider regional issues it influences such as sustainable water and wetland management. Given that we won’t be getting the opportunity to speak directly with the panel, we have put some of our thoughts – specifically in relation to some of the big-picture environmental issues we think are worth the panel considering – into a short submission.

In brief, our key points are that:

  1. Establishment of a mechanism capable of investing in long-term environmental (water conservation) projects would offset, in a strategic way, some of the impacts associated the drainage network;
  2. Provision of sufficient funding for environmental monitoring within the drainage network is critical to inform wise future management decisions; and,
  3. New projects in the SE drainage network should be implemented according to a philosophy that (wherever possible) minimises engineering, automates environmental outcomes, is low cost to maintain and works in conjunction with the characteristics of the natural landscape.

If you are interested to learn more or better understand exactly what is meant by any of these summary points, you can read a copy of our full submission here: NGT Submission to the SE Community Panel – Final 28-01-15

And as always, if you have any thoughts you’d like to share, please get in touch.

Our understanding of environmental values associated with the drainage network has increased greatly over the past decade, including its ability to help threatened species (such as the Yarra Pygmy Perch at the refuge site in Drain M shown above) – persist in our regional landscape.

Mark Bachmann