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Lake Eyre Basin 2012 Ministers' Report to the Community


Message from the Ministers

Under the Lake Eyre Basin (LEB) Intergovernmental Agreement, the Australian, Queensland, South Australian and Northern Territory governments are working together to protect and manage the Lake Eyre Basin's water and related natural resources.

Progressing partnerships to better manage the Lake Eyre Basin

Since our last message to you, much has occurred to strengthen our collaborative approach to managing the LEB sustainably.

We are pleased to report good progress in implementing the Five Year Action Plan in partnership with our stakeholders. For the LEB Rivers Assessment -our long-term program to assess the condition of the Basin's watercourses and catchments - our governments, science organisations and community members are collaborating to:

  • second year of on-ground monitoring at key water sites around the Basin;
  • establish a Consortium of research institutions, regional organisations, non-government bodies and industry players to guide the Rivers Assessment program under a shared investment model;
  • engage Basin land managers and decision makers in Strategic Adaptive Management (SAM), to work towards agreed future monitoring under a shared vision for the condition of the Basin's catchments and watercourses;
  • further our knowledge of trends in waterbird abundance and invasive species management; and
  • undertake a regional trial of the SAM approach to help us expand it across the Basin.

Ensuring a healthy future for LEB watercourses and catchments requires us, as a whole community, to be aware of likely trends in climate, population movement and industry development and of consequent pressures and opportunities. To this end, we are continuing the conversation with our stakeholders about likely Basin futures, which began at the 2010 LEB Biennial Conference and continued with the December 2011 LEB Foresighting Workshop. In conjunction with SAM, this will underpin our ability to better manage and respond to potential changes affecting the Basin's water and related natural resources in future.

An important element of the Rivers Assessment, indeed of all programs under the LEB Agreement, is participation of Aboriginal people. A fourth, successful LEB Aboriginal Forum was held in Tibooburra NSW last year. These events, held since 2004, are a cornerstone in our long-term relationship with Aboriginal people of the Basin, and we look forward to continuing participation of Aboriginal people in all that we do.

We are confident that these and other efforts to progress positive partnerships with LEB land managers and residents, industry players, the science community and conservation groups provide a sound basis for working together in the future.