The North East CMA is responsible for monitoring and reporting on the RCS. Under section 19B of the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, the North East CMA is also required to annually report on the condition and management of land and water resources in the region.
Monitoring and reporting helps us to track progress against the outcomes and priority directions for land, water, biodiversity and community. This promotes continuous improvement through the collection, analysis and evaluation of data and information on natural resources in the north east region.
In 2021, all CMAs developed and adopted an outcomes framework. This framework provides guidance on overarching outcomes that all CMAs seek to achieve in integrated catchment management. Measuring these outcomes also provides a picture of catchment condition.
During the North East RCS engagement for renewal, the community and partners identified more specific regional outcomes they seek to achieve.
When combined this set of measurable State and Regional Outcomes forms the North East RCS outcomes and monitoring framework.
The sections below provide more detailed information on the North East RCS framework for monitoring and reporting.
Statewide Outcomes Framework
The Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) developed the Victorian Government Outcomes Framework which provides a consistent way to design and measure outcomes. This approach helps to drive collaboration across government and identify shared aspirations and areas of work.
Applying the Victorian Government Outcomes Framework to develop an RCS Outcomes Framework enables all CMAs to demonstrate how regional outcomes align with state-wide policies and outcomes. The RCS Outcome Framework has been developed in conjunction with CMAs, the VCMC and DELWP.
Each of these outcomes will be monitored and reported against annually. The North East CMA will collaborate with partners to collect and collate data required to monitor the RCS.
Along with the core outcomes and indicators identified in the Statewide Outcomes Framework, regionally specific outcomes and indicators are included to monitor catchment health.
A detailed monitoring and evaluation plan will be developed for the Regional Catchment Strategy which considers the core outcomes identified in the Statewide Outcomes Framework, the measurable medium term outcomes and the thresholds identified in this strategy. This will provide a full set of indicators. Information to inform monitoring and review will come from a range of sources including:
- Measures identified as important by Traditional Owners/First Nations Peoples
- Environmental water, waterway and wetland condition information where available through monitoring undertaken by the North East CMA and partners
- Groundwater information developed and published by Goulburn-Murray Water
- Information on new parks developed and published by DELWP and Parks Victoria
- Information on new protected vegetation areas from Trust for Nature
- Spatial activity data on revegetation and pest control collated by DELWP, and contributed by relevant organisations in the region such as councils, water corporations, Parks Victoria, relevant Government Departments (including DELWP) and Landcare networks/group
- Threatened species information sourced from DELWP
- An occasional re-assessment of the likely diversity of native animal species across the region which may be appropriate perhaps each 5 to 10 years
- Assessment of the level of exposed soil undertaken each year through the Australian National University
- Data on agricultural production from future AgCensus processes
- Estimates of land use (including agricultural area, native vegetation area and urban area) through updates to the Victorian Land Cover Time Series data managed by DELWP
- Fisheries information developed and published by Fisheries Victoria and DELWP
- Data on the health of Landcare Groups and broader community volunteering through an annual state-wide survey led by DELWP
- Information on the level of community participation in NRM activities by annually seeking this figure from key NRM organisations in the region such as Councils, water corporations, Parks Victoria and relevant Government Departments.
Review and adaptation
Using resilience thinking in the RCS renewal recognises the dynamic nature of systems such as regions or catchments. We know that many factors can impact on the currency of this strategy, such as sudden changes to environmental conditions, access to new data or information, movements in government policy and shifts in available resources.
Any significant updates to the approved RCS can only be made after a period of community consultation and Ministerial consideration and approval, as per the requirements of the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.
There will also be the following formal stages of review:
- A mid-term review of the strategy will be undertaken after three years, which will report on progress towards achieving the desired outcomes, assess effectiveness of the strategy to date and identify changes for the strategy or decisions required to deal with more substantial issues
- Major review and strategy renewal will also be undertaken every six years, including extensive community consultation.
Policy settings, unexpected events and learnings during implementation can all influence the relevance of the RCS. To allow responses to these changes an addendum to the RCS has been developed that can be updated outside the formal review cycles. This addendum will be used to record significant changes to State and Australian Government investment and policy priorities and enable their alignment with new and existing regional priorities.