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Lake Eyre Basin 2011 Ministers' Report to the Community

2011

Message from the Ministers

The Australian, Queensland, South Australian and Northern Territory Governments are working together to protect and manage the Lake Eyre Basin.

In the tenth year since its formation, the Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum, which oversees the implementation of the Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement, is pleased to provide you with this report on another year of remarkable events in the Basin.

While the continuation of heavy rainfall across the Basin has again highlighted the ecological and cultural values of this unique part of Australia, other important events have also occurred which emphasise the importance of governments, industries and communities working together to manage and protect the Basin into the future.

Providing a forum to explore these future directions, the 2010 Lake Eyre Basin Conference, held in Alice Springs in September, was a resounding success. The conference theme, The future of the Lake Eyre Basin"”a participatory conference, truly reflected the generous contribution participants made towards looking at what the future of the Basin might hold and how governments, industries and communities might build capacity to adapt and respond.

The outputs of the conference will be used to guide informed decision making on the strategic management of the Basin and help to identify the threats and opportunities that are likely to shape the Basin's future.

In 2010, implementation of the Lake Eyre Basin Rivers Assessment commenced. This long-term monitoring program is designed to assess the condition of the Basin's watercourses and their related natural resources. The Rivers Assessment will be guided by a Strategic Adaptive Management approach which will help stakeholders to collaboratively determine the key indicators to be monitored, as well as the triggers for appropriate management responses to changes that are detected in the system.

Natural Resource Management groups have also directed considerable effort to programs to strengthen community participation in the management of the Basin. This includes significant weed and pest control programs, rare plant and wildlife conservation, and community awareness and engagement programs.

Another important event was the release of the updated Lake Eyre Basin Poster, which is widely recognised as the most effective means of raising the Australian public's awareness of the Basin. The release of the poster is just one example of how a more coordinated Ministerial Forum communications plan is being used to engage with people like you about the Lake Eyre Basin.

We take this opportunity to express our thanks to members of the Lake Eyre Basin Community Advisory Committee and the Scientific Advisory Panel for their unstinting efforts in the important work being undertaken to create a sustainable future for the Basin.

Australian Government Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the Hon Tony Burke MP (Chair)
Queensland Minister for Finance, Natural Resources and the Arts, the Hon Rachel Nolan MP
South Australian Minister for Environment and Conservation, the Hon Paul Caica MP
Northern Territory Minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Heritage, Mr Karl Hampton MLA