I rise to comment on the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority annual
report for 2007-08. First I will briefly describe the geographic boundaries of
the catchment management authority (CMA). It essentially begins in the west,
just west of Port Campbell, and moves right along the coast, around the Surf
Coast, around the Bellarine Peninsula to Geelong and towards Lara. It goes north
towards Ballarat and skirts the north of Ballarat, and then it goes down to east
of Skipton, west of Lismore and west of Camperdown, and back down to Port
Campbell. It is easy to see that the area the authority covers is large, but it
is also quite diverse in a whole range of areas. It also includes the townships
of Colac, Cressy and Inverleigh.
During the reporting period the catchment management authority
had some significant achievements, one of which involved activities around the
$19 million that was allocated by the federal government and the Victorian
government and was specifically directed towards regional environmental
projects. Much of this money contributes to the upkeep of our beautiful
waterways. Some $640 000 was spent on the restoration of the iconic estuaries of
the Great Ocean Road. There are a plethora of projects in this area which may
not create huge headlines in any of the local newspapers but which definitely
contribute to the beautiful and healthy waterways of the Corangamite CMA area.
Victoria’s estuaries provide some of the state’s most beautiful
scenery, and it is fantastic to see the absolute commitment of the Corangamite
CMA in protecting and preserving these areas.
Not only is the Corangamite CMA protecting these precious
areas, but it has also set up a project called EstuaryWatch, which empowers
interested community members to care for their local estuary by providing
training, support and commitment. That program is contained in one of the case
studies in the report. It is a fantastic program. It helps raise community
awareness of the estuaries and links the catchment area and the coast to create
community engagement and to encourage dialogue between government and community
The EstuaryWatch program was a finalist in the innovation
category of the Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence, and I think it is worth
mentioning that the restoration project on the Barwon River estuary was
short-listed as a finalist in the water category of the national Banksia Awards.
It is also a pleasure to read in the report about the
Parliamentary Secretary for Water and Environment, Michael Crutchfield, who is
the member for South Barwon in the Assembly, launching during the reporting
period three very important documents for the Corangamite CMA. One was on the
soil health strategy; the second was a salinity action plan; and the third was
the Barwon through Geelong Management Plan itself.
The CMA is clearly committed to the health of the environment
and the challenges that we all face and will be facing into the future, and
these three documents play a significant role in ensuring that we are taking the
right approach to handling those challenges. This report constantly mentions the
challenges ahead, and it is refreshing to see that the leadership of the
Corangamite CMA is wanting to embrace those challenges and work very hard and
vigorously in overcoming some of the horrific issues that face our area.
The CMA has established a regional leadership role in
communicating the potential impacts of climate change. It has also strengthened
partnerships right through the catchment area, in the small communities as well
as in the regional centres. It is working with the various communities to
develop collective capacity building and to ensure that people have empowerment
skills to seize and control the issues that directly affect their local
The PRESIDENT — Order! The member’s time has expired.