Catchment Management Authorities
The Victorian Government is committed to integrated catchment management as an important way of achieving sustainability. In Victoria, the concept of integrated catchment management (ICM) underpins sustainable management of land and water resources and contributes to biodiversity management.
Victoria has a strong integrated catchment management system established under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (the CaLP Act). Under the CaLP Act, Victoria is divided into ten catchment regions, with a Catchment Management Authority (CMA) established for each region.
CMAs are provided with regional waterway, floodplain, drainage and environmental water reserve management powers under the Water Act 1989.
Catchment Management Principles
Victoria has six principles that govern the way catchment management is implemented throughout the State. They are:
1. Sustainable Development
Victoria’s whole of catchment approach to natural resource management seeks to deliver social, economic and environmental outcomes for the community and reduce our ecological footprint.
2. Community Empowerment
Catchment management is a partnership between community and Government. Planning and implementation of natural resource management programs should maximise opportunities for community engagement.
3. Integrated Management
Management of natural resources should recognise the linkages between land and water and that the management of one component can impact on the other.
4. Targeted Investment
Government and community need to ensure that resources are targeted to address priorities and deliver maximum on-ground benefits.
Those making decisions on natural resource management should be clearly accountable to Government and the community, both in a financial sense and for biophysical outcomes.
6. Administrative Efficiency
To maximise on-ground results catchment management structures should facilitate more efficient procedures and practices.
The CMA Structure
The basic structure of a CMA is designed to maximise community involvement in decision-making. This structure comprises:
1. The Board - who are directly responsible for the development of strategic direction for land and water management in the Region. They set priorities, evaluate the effectiveness of outcomes, monitor the external and internal environment and identify opportunities.
2. The Implementation Committees (ICs) are the conduits for local community input, and are responsible for the development of detailed work programs and the oversight of on-ground program delivery for specific issues or sub-catchments.
3. The Staff are there to support the Board and ICs, oversee development and implementation of programs and liaise with the community, government and other catchment-focused organisations.