Community Input Sought For Vegetation Management Plan

February 25, 2000 The Rural News

The preparation of a Regional Vegetation Management Plan (RVMP) for the western Riverina is under way, with the release of a discussion paper titled Towards the Development of the Western Riverina Regional Vegetation Management Plan, Member for Murrumbidgee, Adrian Piccoli said.

"The Western Riverina Native Vegetation Region includes the shires of Berrigan, Carrathool. Conargo, Deniliquin. Griffith, Hay, Jerilderie, Leeton, Murray, Murrumbidgee, Wakool and Windouran.

"This region covers one twelfth of NSW, and in 1996 produced 18.7 per cent of the State's total agricultural production. Therefore, healthy native vegetation is an essential component for the continued prosperity of our region," Mr Piccoli said.

"I understand that the RVMP will detail strategies for the protection and enhancement of the native vegetation in this region. It will contain advisory policies and regulatory framework and will be the primary focus for the attraction and delivery of funding for native vegetation initiatives.

"It. the plan is to he successful, extensive input from the community is essential, especially from landholders who now have the opportunity to take control and design a future for the native vegetation specific to this region. "It is essential that as many people as possible read this discussion paper, and provide feedback to the committee which comprises members representing rural interests, environmental and cultural heritage concerns, catchment management, Landcare, local government, State Government agencies and scientific expertise.

"A series of forums will also he held to give the community a chance to provide comments about the discussion paper or about any native vegetation issues.

All forums commence at 12.30pm and the dates are as follows: Griffith - 29/2/00. Gemini Hotel. Hay - 1/3/00, Services Club. Hillston - 2/3/00, Ex-Servicemen's Club.

Copies of the discussion paper arc available from shire offices and the Department of Land and Water Conservation.

Written submissions close on March 15 and should he forwarded to: Mr Mark Rowe DLWC - Leeton P0 Box 156, Leeton NSW 2705. "This plan will provide a significant platform for the future management of native vegetation in the western Riverina. and I encourage everyone to get involved." Mr Piccoli said.