Local communities have their say on NRM reform

The Marshall Liberal Government’s proposed Natural Resource Management reform has received strong support during an extensive community consultation period.

Over the past three months 26 community forums and 23 stakeholder sessions were held across the state, attended by more than 1000 people.

More than 250 written submissions were received over the consultation period with the majority supportive of a back-to-basics approach focussing on pest control, water management and sustainable agriculture.

Under the proposed changes new Landscape SA Boards will put local communities at the heart of decision making through direct election, Natural Resource Management land levies will be capped and a new $2 million Grassroots Grant program will be established.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the community consultation period was extensive and involved written submissions as well as information sessions around the state.

“NRM reform is an election commitment for the Marshall Liberal Government and genuine community engagement is a key part of the process,” said Minister Speirs.

“Throughout the community consultation period it was clear that regional communities had lost confidence in the current system. Over time natural resources management has become too centralised, and these reforms will put local communities back at the heart of key decision-making on the state’s natural resources.

“The nine new Landscape SA boards will simplify the process and work with local communities, project partners and volunteers with a focus upon levies collected in a region being spent in that region.

“There was overwhelming support for prioritising a system of managing natural resources that not only focuses on the basics of delivering effective water management, pest, plant and animal control, soil and land management, but also one that supports broader sustainable primary production that’s thriving with biodiversity.

“On top of the nine new Landscape SA boards, the Marshall Liberal Government will establish a new organisation, Green Adelaide, which will work towards making Adelaide the most ecologically vibrant city in the world. Green Adelaide will focus on enhancing the city’s urban ecology and investing in the natural environment to improve overall community wellbeing.”

The consultation paper is available at www.yoursay.sa.gov.au/landscape-reform

Draft legislation will now be prepared with a bill set to be put before Parliament in early 2019.

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