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Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Strategy

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Local Plans

The Challenges Ahead

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Several connected drivers of change pose significant threats to this region’s ecosystem.
Climate variability led to unprecedented bushfires in 2006 and 2009, challenging the resilience of the area’s environment and people. The capacity of individuals and community organisations to address the legacy of these bushfires, as well as other challenges such as floods and drought, is of significant concern.
Populations of many native species of flora and fauna also remain vulnerable as a result of the bushfires.
Nutrient laden run-off as result of land-use changes, including agriculture practices and the increase in “lifestyle” developments is also significant.
Climate variability and stock and domestic demand is threatening groundwater yield particularly as lifestyle developments expand into the upper parts of this area.
Although water policy reforms are considering the suite of ecosystem services provided by waterways, regulation of the waterways for multiple purposes, especially downstream supply, limits operation of the waterways in terms of water quality and ecological benefits.
Constraints to the delivery of environmental water are being considered.
Although the Upland Slopes have large areas of native vegetation, especially on public land, agricultural practices and land-use changes, including subdivision, on private land is threatening to result in the crossing of several biodiversity habitat thresholds, especially fragmentation, connectivity and fire frequency, and riparian width thresholds (for cleaning water).
Short-term agricultural production objectives (i.e. to produce more and different crops) and long-term native biodiversity objectives (i.e. establish corridors of vegetation) are not always easy to align in this area and there is risk that managing this may be made more difficult by drivers of change such as climate variability and increased farm production.
Land-use changes and the make-up of the population, including absentee landownership of near 50 per cent in some local government areas is creating difficulty in establishing networks between communities and agencies and reinforcing accountabilities at all levels.