A long-term strategy for protecting the environment around Benalla has been officially set in motion.
The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority has released its new biodiversity strategy, setting goals to accomplish before 2021.
The authority is one of 10 in the state that works with the community, government and funding organisers, protecting land, water and biodiversity resources.
The strategy was launched by Labour Upper Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes, and Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority chief executive officer Chris Norman at the Benalla Race Club recently.
The biodiversity strategy updates the status of assets under the eye of the catchment authority, including native vegetation, wetlands, rivers and streams, native fauna, and soil biodiversity.
It states there are more than 3000 native plant species in the area, of which 385, or about 13 per cent, are endangered or vulnerable.
The wetlands in the catchment are mostly in good or moderate condition (78 per cent), five per cent are in excellent condition, the remaining 17 per cent are either in poor or very poor condition.
More than 60 per cent of the area’s rivers and streams are in moderate condition, 15 per cent are in good or excellent condition, with the other 22 per cent in poor or very poor condition.
In the next five to six years the authority hopes to have an increased area of the catchment protected and managed for biodiversity conservation.
It also hopes to develop ‘‘icon’’ projects to improve ecological function and climate change adaptation, as well as ‘‘improving the science’’ behind its decisions.
In the lead-up to those goals, the authority will continue to work with farmers, communities, traditional owners, scientists, government and stakeholders.
●For more information on the five-year strategy, go to www.necma.vic.gov.au