Our Plan for Russell & Mulgrave Catchments

We live in a unique part of the world with our tropical climate and rich agricultural land, surrounded by spectacular World Heritage Areas.

By working with our community, we have the opportunity to protect community values, restore and enhance our natural assets, to improve and maintain our way of life, for environmental, social and economic welfare. Our dynamic community groups and access to cutting-edge scientific research allow us to make genuine contributions to planning and managing our environment on the ground.

Our top three priorities

1. Biosecurity
We will effectively manage invasive species and reduce their impacts, from established aquatic and land-based pests and weeds, to being prepared for new and evolving pest species.
Weeds and feral animals are a major problem in our Local Landscape. The damage they cause results in a huge economic burden and the loss of habitat for native species. They compete for food and light, predate on native animals and cause disruptions in migration patterns and waterflow.
Coordinated management programs based on the latest research and local priority species will allow us to achieve large-scale impact to minimise financial and environmental losses.

Examples of our priority actions include:
Increase feral pig control efforts to be effective on a large scale.
Prioritise and conduct control programs on existing weeds and pests (eg. tilapia, pond apple, frogbit, miconia, limnocharis) while ensuring that we have ways to identify and take rapid action on new or evolving species.


2. Secure Resourcing
We will advocate for continuous and secure funding to allow ongoing grass-roots community work and improve succession within community organisations.
There are many passionate volunteers actively supporting NRM work in the community, from onground activites to grant applications and organisation management. Providing these groups with the support of a paid coordinator provides continuity for the groups and the work they do and frees up volunteer time from administration tasks.
A paid coordinator and funding for Traditional Owner groups to manage projects will allow our community groups to achieve planned outcomes efficiently.

Examples of our priority actions include:
Advocate for paid community group coordinators and improve collaboration with Traditional Owner groups for the coordination and management of projects.

3. Water
We will enhance the quality of our water and the condition of our waterways.

We live in an area with an abundance of water and networks of wetlands, creeks and rivers. There are many things we can do to make sure our water is clean and healthy, for our use and the ecosystems it is a part of. Land uses and changes in waterways and riparian areas have a big impact on the water in our creeks, rivers and oceans.

With careful management, we can improve our water quality, as well as providing important aquatic and wetland habitats for many animals.

“We don’t want to be standing in Singapore daisy under pond apple catching tilapia – we need to preserve what makes this the Wet Tropics!”

Examples of our priority actions include:
Restore important waterways and wetlands, in collaboration with landholders.
Use holistic, landscape-scale management of catchments for multiple outcomes.


Other priorities:
In addition to the above priorities, we are also keen to see a range of other NRM outcomes for our Local Landscape.

We have significant biodiversity assets in our Local Landscape, including threatened species like the Mahogany Glider and Southern Cassowary. Protecting and connecting habitat will help support these species, as well as increase resilience to climate change.

Examples of our priority actions include:
Protect and expand habitat for the Southern Cassowary and Mahogany Glider.
Establish local native plant community nurseries to provide trees for restoration projects.
Conduct large-scale restoration projects for environmental, social and cultural outcomes.
Manage and protect Trinity Inlet.

Climate change is likely to have significant impacts on our communities, businesses and industries and our natural systems. It is important for us to take actions now to help adapt and increase resilience, as well as reducing emissions to help mitigate future impacts.

Examples of our priority actions include:
Implement restoration projects (eg. restoring East-West corridors), using tree species appropriate to changing climatic conditions to improve long term success.

Cultural Values
We have strong and active Traditional Owners and groups within our Local Landscape, with enduring cultural connections to country. Increasing capacity of these groups and establishing meaningful, collaborative partnerships for NRM planning and delivery can improve cultural, social and environmental outcomes for the region.

Examples of our priority actions include:
Partner and collaborate with Traditional Owners on NRM projects.
Support the development of economic and business opportunities for Traditional Owners.
Develop country-based plans across the region.

Sustainable Industries
Sustainably managed industries play a significant role in natural resource management, from restoring and protecting ecosystems, managing water quality, soil health and mitigating climate change. Farming businesses are also a vital part of our communities, lifestyle and landscapes.

Examples of our priority actions include:
Conduct education and awareness programs to raise awareness and promote sustainable practices.
Protect good quality agricultural land from urban and industrial expansion.

Community Engagement
By ensuring our community understands and appreciates the environmental, cultural, economic and recreational values of our natural areas, we can improve engagement and involvement in NRM planning and management.

Examples of our priority actions include:
Deliver environmental education programs for increased community engagement.

For more detail on the priority actions identified by the community for our Local Landscape, click on this link.