Scientists, engineers, farmers and environmentalists got together last week to celebrate a partnership which has changed the landscape of the Goulburn Valley.GEOFF ADAMS August 26, 2014 3:06am
Scientists, engineers, farmers and environmentalists got together last week to celebrate a partnership which has changed the landscape of the Goulburn Valley.
While the work of the Farm and Environment Working Group has been heavily influenced by Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, Goulburn-Murray Water and Victorian Government departments, it has included a number of members who represent farmers and the community.
The working group is a sub-committee of Goulburn Broken CMA’s Sustainable Irrigation Program Advisory Group.
The group has developed policies for the farm and environment program, over-sighted program work and linked with groups in other regions.
Carl Walters from Goulburn Broken CMA told the anniversary meeting the committee had played a critical role in the development of the region over the past 20 years.
He noted there were 82 former members of the group, at least half of which were community representatives.
‘‘I remember going to a meeting and copping it because I had not done my homework. You have to remember you could be asked about any topic.’’
Goulburn Broken CMA chief executive Chris Norman joked that the committee was so heavily influenced by community representation that in his former days with DPI, it had sometimes been accused of being ‘captured’ by the community.
‘‘I remember feeling a great sense of satisfaction, as much as you could, in working in the department, when working with this group,’’ Mr Norman said.
He recalled the emphasis on whole farm planning and laser grading in the early days.
‘‘I also remember Bill Trewhella making a presentation on channel leakage and seepage and the response that it was only about five per cent and not worth worrying about. Water was cheap.
‘‘It’s been an amazing journey.’’
Current chairman Roger Wrigley, from the University of Melbourne, said the group had been ‘‘a great survivor’’, adapting to suit changing farm and environmental demands.
About 4000 whole farm plans had been developed over the years.
Associate Professor Wrigley said new whole farm plans were still required because farms were now going through mergers as they acquired neighbouring properties, as new technologies created alternative irrigation methods and with the advent of food-bowl modernisation.
Today’s issues for the group included the government on-farm water efficiency processes and grants.
Shepparton’s March rainfall was negligible and the lowest since the worst years of the last drought.
The Yarrawonga Mulwala B Grade Rams have secured the Des Johnston Shield as WDCA B Grade Two Day Premiers for season 2014/2015 with a crushing win over City Colts.
Two Tatura junior tennis teams played in Grand Finals of the Shepparton and District Junior Tennis Association on Saturday, March 21.
It has been a dry beginning to 2015 for Echuca and surrounding districts.
Four Rochester projects are a step closer to completion.
20th Heritage Day a hit
Great range of entries in both garden and photographic competition.
Finley have now formed their own Local Health Advisory Committee.
Heathcote police have continued to make ground in their fight against illicit drugs with more raids and arrests in the past week.
Cobram Highway Patrol urges care on the roads over the Easter long weekend.
After more than 10 years of planning, the miniature railway at Deniliquin;s Memorial Park will begin operating on Sunday.
Toolamba Primary School student Felix Turnbull is looking forward to seeing his face on new SPC labels that will be on supermarket shelves across the nation.
Benalla streets have come alive with street art. The large painted images adorn some of the town's buildings, creating a spectacular sight.
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