The purposes and required content of Regional Catchment Strategies are formally set out in the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (section 24) and the Regional Catchment Strategy Guidelines.
This Regional Catchment Strategy aims to protect the environmental assets that are the cornerstones of healthy and resilient ecosystems in the Port Phillip & Western Port region, and to enhance the collaboration and coordination between numerous organisations involved in environmental management. However, it doesn’t seek to respond to every environmental policy and issue affecting the region nor direct everyone’s conservation activities.
The most important things you need to know about the scope of this strategy are:
This is an environmental strategy for the Port Phillip and Western Port region; it presents an environmental viewpoint.
The strategy does not undertake economic or social planning, though it will inform and influence such planning because the health and resilience of environmental assets and ecosystems underpins many aspects of the region’s economy, production, amenity, social values and livability.
This strategy focuses on the catchments, bays and marine area of the Port Phillip and Western Port region:
This strategy aims to protect and strengthen ecosystem health and resilience across the region.
Ecosystems are all around us but often have no defined or tangible boundaries and are not easily mapped or measured.
However, we can measure and manage environmental assets as components of the ecosystems and indicators of their health and resilience. This strategy therefore focuses on a set of environmental assets that are considered to be cornerstones of healthy and resilient ecosystems:
• native vegetation;
• native animals;
• waterways and wetlands;
• rural 'hinterland';
• Port Phillip Bay; and
• Western Port.
The strategy does not currently include analysis and targets for other environmental assets, such as groundwater, but these could be incorporated into the strategy in the future.
This strategy proposes specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound (SMART) targets for the future condition of the environmental assets. SMART targets are the foundation for:
While the targets will generally remain in place for the long-term, the actions required to achieve them are expected to change or evolve over time as circumstances change. This strategy does not specify the actions that might be needed to achieve the targets, instead recognising that the planning and implementation of actions will be led and tailored by the organisations with the relevant expertise and responsibility.
This strategy is designed to guide, influence and assist the planning and action undertaken by:
These organisations are responsible for major environmental planning processes and works programs. This strategy is designed to enhance collaboration and coordination amongst them so the available funds and resources can be used for optimum benefit.
This strategy will also assist and guide many others undertaking local planning and action; Landcare groups, committees of management, 'Friends of' groups and individual landholders. It includes information that will influence and help decision-making at the local scale, enhancing the alignment between local action and region-scale targets.
More information on the partners that will be involved in the collective effort to maintain and enhance environmental health and resilience in this region is included on the Partners and roles page.