Caring for our Country: An outline for the future - 2013-2018

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Nov 9, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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Caring for our Country

An outline for the future

2013

2018


© Commonwealth of Australia 2012

Selected passages may be reproduced provided due acknowledgement is made. Permission will be required for the
reproduction of any photographs.

The Australian G
overnment acting through the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and
Communities and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has exercised due care and skill in the preparation
and compilation of the information set o
ut in this publication. Notwithstanding, the Australian Government, its employees and
advisers disclaim all liability, including liability for negligence, for any loss, damage, injury, expense or cost incurred b
y any
person as a result of accessing, using
or relying upon any of the information in this publication to the maximum extent
permitted by the law.

Printed on recycled paper

Cover photo credits: (top L to R) Margaret Brown, Cathy Zwick, John Baker, Jane Dermer

(bottom L to R) Kerry Trapnell, Rob Bl
akers, Michael Nelson and Michael Marriott

Inside cover photo credit: Office of Minister Burke and Office of Minister Ludwig

Ministers’ foreword

In 2008 the Australian Government announced Caring for our Country as our flagship natural
resource management

initiative to help manage Australia’s environment and productive lands
sustainably.

Caring for our Country sought to improve on previous natural resource management initiatives
by establishing clear national investment priorities. With support from Landc
are and community
members, farmers and other land managers, Caring for our Country is making real progress
towards achieving its overarching goal of an environment that is healthier, better protected, well
managed, resilient, and provides essential ecosyst
em services in a changing climate.

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, in 2011 we commissioned our
departments to undertake a review of Caring for our Country.

The review engaged more than 4000 stakeholders across the country and we want
to thank the
community for their valuable contribution to this process. You have told us what works well, what
we can do better, and put forward new ideas to help shape future Australian Government
support for the management of our productive landscapes an
d environment.

From 2013

2018 Caring for our Country will be shaped by the findings of the review. Moving
forward, the program will build on its current strengths and successes and address new
priorities.

In recognition of the diversity of Australia’s lan
dscapes and communities, regional delivery will
continue to be a focus of the initiative. Regional natural resource management organisations are
a key component of Caring for our Country, engaging local communities to deliver the many
project
s that contrib
ute to achieving
our shared goals.

Caring for our Country will sit alongside other major government investments including the Clean
Energy Future’s Land Sector Package, the Water for the Future program and onshore
biosecurity. Together, these initiatives w
ill form a comprehensive and integrated approach to
natural resource management in Australia.

We look forward to continuing to work with you to protect Australia’s environment,

our natural and cultural icons and productive landscapes.

The Hon Tony Burke M
P

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

The first five years 2008

2013


‘The Australian Government’s adaptive
management of Caring for our Cou
ntry over the
past two years has been very positive and
should be commended.’


Individual response to the Caring for our Country review forum.


Caring for our Country identified a set of strategic outcomes to deliver in its first five
years. These outcom
es focus on protecting and building resilience into our
environment and were developed across six national priority areas: the National
Reserve System; biodiversity and natural icons; sustainable farm practices; coastal
environments and critical aquatic ha
bitats; natural resource management in northern
and remote Australia; and community skills, knowledge and engagement.

Supporting these strategic outcomes are shorter term targets that aim to be clear and
measurable. The Australian Government has been close
ly monitoring our progress
against these targets and five
-
year outcomes through our monitoring, evaluation,
reporting and improvement framework.

Caring for our Country’s progress, documented through annual report cards, shows
that the initiative is on tra
ck to deliver on its five
-
year outcomes and contribute to
improving the condition of our natural resources at the landscape
-
scale.

The National Reserve System was set up to help conserve Australia’s distinctive
landscapes, plants and animals through a comp
rehensive, adequate and
representative network of reserves across Australia. Under the National Reserve
System priority, 67 properties and 25 new Indigenous Protected Areas have been
added to the system, increasing the protection of under
-
represented biore
gions by over
7.6 million hectares.

Under the biodiversity and natural icons priority area, our accomplishments include the
management of over 9.4 million hectares of native habitat and vegetation to reduce
and manage habitat loss and fragmentation, remov
e Weeds of National Significance
and vertebrate pest animals, and manage excessive grazing and damage by
inappropriate fire regimes. All these actions have helped to improve the habitat of
nationally threatened species and communities.

Through the Environm
ental Stewardship Program, over 200 private land managers are
helping to conserve over 47 000 hectares of threatened ecological communities listed
under the
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
.

We have also provided funding to he
lp with the search for a cure to the devastating
Tasmanian Devil facial tumour disease and the identification of ways to reduce the
disease’s impact in the wild.

The sustainable farm practices priority area provides funding to groups to increase the
capaci
ty of farmers and rural communities to improve natural resource management
and the adoption of land management practices. More than 30 200 farmers have
participated in over 450 projects funded to help them increase their uptake of
sustainable farm and land

management practices that deliver improved ecosystem
services.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Agricultural Resource Management Survey
indicates that ground cover management in the broadacre agricultural industries is
improving as a result of better

tillage and residue management practices. More grazing
farmers are actively monitoring ground cover levels, and over half of the agricultural
businesses with native vegetation, wetlands, rivers and creeks on farm are protecting
them for conservation purpo
ses.

Through the coastal environments and critical aquatic habitats priority area, fragile
ecosystems are being protected and rehabilitated through improvements to water
quality, increased protection of Ramsar wetlands, delivery of the Great Barrier Reef
R
escue package and assisting coastal community organisations to play a vital role in
the rehabilitation, restoration and conservation of our coastal environment.

Reef Rescue has brought together a range of diverse groups to work towards
improving the qualit
y of water flowing into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. To date, over
1100 farmers and more than 480 pastoralists have adopted improved land
management practices to reduce discharge from more than 2.7 million hectares of
agricultural lands into the lagoon.
One hundred and twenty two projects are also
protecting the ecological values of over 400 000 hectares of Ramsar wetland through
on
-
ground activities carried out by land managers, Indigenous and community groups
and volunteers.

Northern and remote Australi
a contains some of our most intact high conservation
value landscapes, environmental assets and valuable productive resources. Through
this priority area, Indigenous groups, land managers and farmers are being supported
to secure better environmental and n
atural resource management outcomes in
northern
and remote Australia. Toward this outcome, through the Working on Country
Indigenous ranger program, 690 Indigenous rangers have been contracted to deliver
environmental outcomes in the national interest acro
ss more than 1.5 million square
kilometres of regional and remote Australia.

More than 3600 land managers across northern and remote Australia have also
participated in activities to increase their adoption of sustainable grazing and land
management practi
ces, including increased pasture cover by adjusting seasonal
stocking rates to reduce the risk of soil erosion.

Australia’s progress towards a healthier environment and the sustainable use of
natural resources depends on the actions of individuals, groups

and communities.

A focus of the community skills, knowledge and engagement priority area is building
capacity and participation of everyone involved in protecting and managing our natural
resources.

Working on Country is a significant contributor to thi
s priority area. For example, a
team of Working on Country rangers, A
n
angu elders and scientists
are w
orking
together to protect the
warru (Bla
ck
-
footed rock wallaby) on the
A
n
angu Pitjantjatjara
Yankunytjatjara lands.

The project brings together traditio
nal and western scientific skills and knowledge to
survey and monitor warru colonies, manage predators and manage the ecology of the
landscape. Together, A
n
angu elders and rangers are educating young people about
caring for country and maintaining culture
through sharing knowledge and experiences.

Direc
t funding of 1242 small grants
to community organisations has helped

to increase urban and regional
commu
nity participation by engaging
over 49 000
vo
lunteers. Funding to all
56 regional natural resource man
agement organisations is
assisting urban and regional communities to access knowledge and skills to better
manage natural resources and protect the environment. Our network of regionally
-
based facilitators and extension officers are also working with commu
nity members to
ensure two way communication and collaboration.

The Caring for our Country

r
e
view


‘This is an excellent way to carry out a review and fills a need
for us we have always wanted
-

to have contact with other
groups and exchange ideas and in
formation.’




Trinity Inlet Catchment Management Association


The Australian Government recognises the vital role stakeholders play in natural
resource management. Protecting and managing the Australian environment is a
shared responsibility between gover
nment, industry and the community.

Through the review of Caring for our Country we sought to listen to and work with
stakeholders to improve delivery of the initiative.

The review invited people to take part in a public discussion about the initiative


w
hat
works well, what can be done better and new ideas.

The Gove
rnment’s efforts to speak
with as many stakeholders as possible resulted in a
wealth of constructive feedback about Caring for our Country.

Overall
, the review engaged more than
4000 stakeholde
rs and received around

200 written submissions. Following th
e
end of the official consultation period

on 20 May 2011, comments and sugges
tions continued to be received
until December
2011. The review concluded with the r
elease of the review report in
Apr
il 2012.


Review outcomes

Broadly, stakeholder feedback did not suggest radical changes to the way the
Australian Government invests in natural resource management. However, useful
suggestions for improving program delivery and community involvement

wer
e offered.

Further information is provided in the consultation summary report, The Story So Far,
and the Caring for our Country Review Report, which are available from the website
www.nrm.gov.au

The key themes attracting the most

stakeholder comment were
:



Community skills, knowledge and engagement



Indigenous natural resource management



Natural resource management planning and alignment of investment priorities



Regional delivery



Monitoring, reporting and data management



Partnerships



Caring for our Country
administration



Setting investment priorities and ways of investing



Innovation, research and development.

The information gathered through stakeholder consultations, commissioned reports,
related program reviews, literature reviews and Caring for our Countr
y monitoring,
evaluation, reporting and improvement data was used to evaluate the appropriateness,
effectiveness and efficiency of the initiative.

The review found that there is an ongoing need for Australian Government participation
in this area. Caring
for our Country appropriately addresses natural resource
management issues that require a national commitment and perspective to be
effectively managed.

Successful approaches that should be built on further are:



Providing national leadership and guidance o
n Australia’s natural resource
management priorities



Strong and complementary partnerships with state, territory and local
governments



Delivering and contributing to integrated, whole
-
of
-
government approaches.

Caring for our Country is an effective initiat
ive that is making real progress towards an
environment that is healthier, better protected, well managed, resilient, and provides
essential ecosystem services in a changing climate.

The initiative has exceeded its five
-
year outcomes in nearly all national

priority areas,
and performance against the 20
-
year projections is showing a positive trend. The
outcomes and targets approach has been successful in setting and delivering
Australian Government investment priorities.

The initiative has also recognised th
e varying needs of stakeholders and met these by
providing numerous funding options. Successful approaches that should be developed
further are:



Regional delivery in partnership with regional and local communities



The mix of investment approaches which has

achieved a diverse range of
delivery partners and projects.

Finally, Caring for our Country is efficient in delivering Australian Government
investment in natural resource management.

By focusing on clear national priorities, targets and monitoring and r
eporting, Caring for
our Country has reduced administrative costs and, over time, transaction costs for
proponents and grantees. Successful approaches that should be expanded

further are:



Continuous improvement in setting strategic outcomes, monitoring a
nd
reporting, program administration, annual business planning and regional
delivery



Acknowledging and utilising the skills and expertise of existing stakeholder
networks.

Areas for improvement


The rev
iew also identified some areas
for improvement in the

design and delivery

of the program including:



Broader stakeholder consultation in setting outcomes and targets, which
should reflect a combination of scientific, community and regional experiences



Mechanisms to ensure consistency and continual improvemen
t in the
performance of regional NRM organisations



Better encouragement of partnerships



Increased investment in innovative practices



Increased Indigenous natural resource management opportunities



Simplifying and improving the monitoring, evaluation, report
ing and
improvement approach.

The wealth of constructive feedback received through the review process is
fundamental to the design of the next phase. In addition to the evaluation of Caring for
our Country, the information will be used to develop the desig
n, priorities and delivery
mechanisms of the next phase, and to deliver more streamlined processes in the
future.





Where to next: phase two


‘Our environment is a national issue requiring national leadership

and action at all levels

There have been si
gnificant advances in many aspects of environmental management
over the past decade, but management approaches and responsibilities are often
fragmented across Australian, state and territory, and local governments. This can
hamper our ability to address t
he legacies of past pressures like land clearing, ongoing
pressures like invasive species and emerging challenges like climate change. National
leadership and commitment, together with the cooperation and coordination of all
governments and stakeholders, i
ncluding the Australian community, are important
foundations for the future of Australia’s environment and heritage.’

State of the Environment 2011


Our lifestyle choices impact on our ecosystems, biodi
versity and heritage.
At the same
time, our wellbeing
is depen
dent on productive ecosystems.
The Aus
tralian
environment is precious
and needs to be managed carefully.

Environmental and natural resource management issues are national issues. They
require national leadership, but action is also needed at all l
evels by individuals,
communities, organisations and governments.

Through Caring for our Country, the Government has been investing in managing and
conserving our environment over the past four years. It is one of several Australian
Government initiatives
seeking to improve the protection and restoration of land and
seascape functions.

Caring for our Country will continue in its focus of ensuring the health and protection of
our ecosystems, and the biodiversity that supports them. Importantly, in delivering

this
objective it contributes to a range of Australian Government policy priorities, including
the Closing the Gap initiative, food security, biosecurity, national environmental
accounting, regional development, sustainable population and urban developmen
t.

It will also complement a number of Government initiatives, particularly Water for the
Future, the Clean Energy Future plan and the Interim Independent Expert Scientific
Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Mining Projects. Caring for our Country will
conser
ve and manage our national environmental assets and guide sustainable farm
practices to complement the Clean Energy Future’s emphasis on mitigating the impact
of climate change through increased carbon storage in our landscapes and Water for
the Future’s f
ocus on restoring the health of our river systems.

Together these initiatives provide leadership and guidance on natural resource
management and address priorities of national impact.

These initiatives also recognise that progress toward a healthier enviro
nment and the
sustainable use of natural resour
ces cannot be achieved through
one initiative or the
actions of the Australian Government alone. It is vital that our society achieves a
sustainable relationship with th
e Australian environment. This
can onl
y
be done
through partnering at
all levels.

Caring for our Country will continue over the next five years as a keystone among
Australian Government initiatives within the environmental and natural resource
management sphere. It will continue to address the c
ommunity need for national
leadership to achieve a healthy environment and sustainable use of

natural resources.


‘We support the flexibility of Caring for our
Country to be able to be used to address key
emerging threats and recommend the
continuation of

this approach.’


Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania



Caring for our Country



a framework for the future



Under phase two of Caring for our Country, strategic objectives will be focused under
two streams


a sustainable environment stream and a su
stainable agriculture
stream. The sustainable environment stream will support work that contributes to the
Government’s broader objectives for improved outcomes at land, seascape

and ecos
ystem scales, while continuing
to meet legislated responsibilities.

The focus will be on improving integration and planning across the different sectors
involved in natural resource management. The next phase of Caring for our Country
will complement investments in biodiverse carbon plantings and water planning, and
conti
nue to contribute to the National Reserve System, by focusing on Indigenous
Protected Areas and marine reserves. This will not exclude contributing to activities at
other scales, for instance local urban and coastal projects and initiatives contributing to

the recovery of threatened species.

The sustainable agriculture stream will focus on increasing the sustainability of
agricultural production. Farmers manage up to 70 per cent of the Australian land mass
and their actions have direct implications for the
Australian community.

Healthy, productive and resilient agricultural landscapes are fundamental to the
provision of a range of ecosystem services, continuing sustainable food and fibre
production and the sustainability of rural and regional communities.

Caring for our Country aims to optimise the health and productivity of agricultural
landscapes and recognise the contribution that communities make to managing and
improving these landscapes.

Through the review we heard that the priorities established for
the first phase of Caring
for our Country continue to have resonance with the community, environment and
Landcare
groups,
and sec
toral interests but that there
ar
e a number of emerging
natural
resou
rce management priorities that
would be appropriately addr
essed at

the national level.

Through these new strategic objectives the initiative will continue to target the major
Australian Government priorities and obligations of the first phase of Caring for our
Country investment while also addressing emerging n
ational natural resource
management priorities.

Caring for our Country will also continue to deliver investments through flexible and
multiple funding mechanisms. A mix of investment approaches will be effective in
achieving a diverse range of delivery pa
rtners and projects.

Larger scale partnership projects delivering strategic outcomes will be balanced
against smaller local projects contributing to the protection and conservation of priority
environments or building community capacity, capability and mo
mentum.

Funding will be continued for regional natural resource management organisations to
support community capacity, deliver on
-
ground activities, and improve their
governance arrangements.

Caring for our Country will continue to provide advisory and s
upport services through a
network of regionally
-
based facilitators and extension officers. We recognise the value
of these services for our stakeholders, particularly in developing leadership and in
improving skills, integration of natural resource managem
ent outcomes into farm and
local level planning, and the uptake of best management practices.

We intend to develop the details of funding mechanisms following consultations with
stakeholders to refine priorities and ensure that program delivery arrangement
s are
tailored to the intervention required.


Sustainable environment stream


VISION:

Australia’s national environmental assets are
conserved, resilient and healthy.


Guiding our approach

We generally know what needs to be done to manage our landscapes w
ell, and changes in the way we
manage the environment are contributing to a positive outlook. The evidence available on the state of
terrestrial biodiversity nevertheless points towards continuing decreases in condition across much of
Australia, and in som
e coastal places and areas on the continental shelf and upper slope, biodiversity is also
adversely impacted as a result of human activities.

Continued investment in sustainable environment initiatives is necessary to ensure that we capitalise on
progress

made to date and mitigate the growing impacts of pressures such as climate change and the
expansion and impacts of urban settlements and the waste our cities generate.

Maintaining ecosystem services has become an integral part of Australia’s commitment to

managing
biodiversity, water, primary industries, regional planning and climate change. By focusing on maintaining
ecosystem services, and the biodiversity that underpins them, we are reshaping thinking around sustainable
environmental management and insp
iring new ideas for managing landscape resilience.

Australians place a high value on the importance of Indigenous heritage and Indigenous communities’
contribution to land and sea management. Continuing to build Indigenous capacity in both traditional and
scientific management will benefit the environment for all Australians and create opportunities for Indigenous
and non
-
Indigenous Australians to work effectively together.

State of the Environment 2011


Caring f
or our Country will contribute
to this vision

by continuing Australian

Government investment in the protection and management of nationally significant

flora and fauna, ecological communities, ecosystems, land and seascapes. The
sustainable environment stream highlights three strategic objectives t
o prioritise
investment over the next five years:



Protection of our conservation estate



Maintenance of ecosystem services, including ecological and cultural values,
now and into the future



Enhanced capacity of Indigenous communities to conserve and protect

natural
resources.

The
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

focuses
Australian Government interests on the protection of matters of national environmental
significance


nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecolo
gical
communities and heritage. Caring for our Country investment under the strategic
objectives will continue to be guided by these legislative responsibilities.


Protection of our
conservation estate

Investment through this priority will contribute to pr
otecting and conserving biodiversity
through strategic land and seascape conservation and restoration initiatives. We will
continue our focus on protecting examples of all extant terrestrial native ecosystems.

This will be complemented by supporting the co
nservation and protection of marine
reserves in Commonwealth waters. We will also support the implementation of
bioregional plans to improve the resilience of marine ecosystems.

The values of nationally significant places, such as our World Heritage areas
and
Ramsar wetlands, will be managed in a way that meets Australia’s international
obligations to protect native species and ecological communities, cultural heritage and
cultural diversity.


Maintenance of ecosystem services,
including ecological
and cult
ural values, now and into the future

A wide range of ecosystem services, such as the maintenance of water quality and
flows, benefit our whole community. Support will be provided to mitigate the impacts of
land use on our regional, urban and coastal habita
ts by restoring the health and
resilience of ecosystems. An important practical step will be to continue our investment
in well managed native habitat and vegetation in areas complementary to Clean
Energy Future investment.

We will focus on building commun
ity capacity and connection with the environment.
Particular emphasis will be given to providing communities with the information and
social infrastructure to manage local sources of impact.

The health and resilience of ecosystem services will also be impr
oved through
continued focus on whole
-
of
-
ecosystem, integrated approaches such as those
previously adopted in the Great Barrier Reef.


Enhanced capacity of Indigenous communities to co
n-
serve and protect natural resources

We will build on our partnerships w
ith Indigenous people and communities so they
have the opportunity to participate fully in land and sea management, drawing on the
significant and unique knowledge, skills, and responsibilities that are held by
Indigenous communities.

Indigenous landholde
rs and Indigenous communities (including urban communities)
will have ongoing access to opportunities for education, training, employment and
business relating to natural resource management, including through the continuation
of the successful Working on
Country and Indigenous Protected Areas programs.

Sustainable agriculture stream


VISION:

Australia’s agricultural base is sustainable,

pr
o
ductive and resilient.


Guiding our approach

The sustainable production of food is imperative to the livelihoods of

those employed within the agricultural
sector and indeed all Australians interested in a healthy economy and environment.

Innovation is necessary for ongoing growth and improvement in the productivity, effectiveness,
competitiveness and sustainability of

Australia’s agriculture, fisheries, forestry and food industries.

By managing our natural resource base in a sustainable and integrated way, we can also reduce our impact
on the environment. Through strategies to protect our ecosystems, Australia can foc
us on integrated
management of land, water and living resources.

Land management practices have improved during the past few decades, but soil management has to
improve significantly to build soil carbon, control acidification and prevent erosion. For exam
ple, present
rates of soil erosion by water now exceed soil formation rates by a factor of at least several hundred and, in
some areas across Australia, several thousand.

Invasive pests also put pressure on the environment in a variety of ways, and impact

on Australia’s
biodiversity. We need to reduce the impact of weeds and pests on Australia’s agriculture to help protect our
native species from displacement and help ensure the future of our farms and forests.

Australia’s ongoing contribution to the envir
onment and the sustainable use of natural resources depends on
the actions of many individuals, groups and communities. This needs to be well supported and resourced.

State of the Environment 2011


Over the next five years, Caring for our Country will focu
s on food security, managing
natural resources sustainably, and addressing key threats that impact on agricultural
production such as weeds and pests management. The sustainable agriculture stream
will prioritise investment under five strategic objectives:



Sustainable production of food



Innovation in Australian agriculture and fisheries practices



Reduced impact of weeds and pests on agriculture



Improved management of agriculture and fisheries and the natural resource
base



Skilled and capable Landcare commu
nity.


Sustainable production
of food

There will be an increased emphasis on supporting the role of sustainable and
productive farms and fisheries in delivering multiple ecosystem services and acting as
stewards of a healthier and more resilient natural re
source base.

Strategic industry partnerships and the uptake of sustainable and innovative practices
will be supported to allow our production sectors to meet future demand for food and
fibre without compromising the natural resource base.



Innovation in
Australian
agriculture and

fisheries practi
c
es

Through supporting and promoting innovation, the agricultural and fisheries sectors will
be better placed to respond to changing circumstances. Investment will be provided for
the development, testing and ado
ption of innovative practices so that our production
sectors have access to the tools, knowledge and skills needed to meet the challenges
for their industry.


Reduced impact of weeds
and pests on

agricu
l
ture

Weeds and pest animals represent a significant
threat to Australia’s agricultural
production and the size and quantity of agricultural yields.

The management of existing and sleeper weeds and pests will move from the current
trend of localised on
-
ground control to supporting national surveillance, coo
rdination
and extension through partnerships.

Current activities under intergovernmental agreements relating to new incursions

and emergency responses for weeds, pests and diseases will also be brought under
Caring for our Country. This will allow a stra
tegic approach to be taken in the
management of both new and established pests and weeds.


Improved management
of agriculture and

fisheries and the natural resource base

We will continue to focus on integrated natural resource management outcomes, as
thi
s approach recognises the reciprocal links between a sustainable and productive
resource base and healthy, resilient and productive landscapes. Innovation in
sustainable agriculture and adoption of better practices by farmers and fishers will
focus on redu
cing impacts such as run off of nutrients and bycatch.


Skilled and capable
Landcare community

Across Australia, the efforts of our Landcare community need to continue

t
o be recognised and supported.
Building on the successes of the Landcare
communit
y, we

will continue to support
on
-
ground Landcare activities and in
troduce
support mechanisms for
training, capacity building and leadership development. This
will contribute to further engaging the community, delivering collaborative information,
and building
community capacity and leadership to implement and promote the
systems and processes necessary for sustainable profitability and productivity.


We have valued your input

so far


The Government appreciates the constructive feedback provided during the rev
iew and
intends to act on it to deliver a stronger, more robust initiative into the future. Proposed
improvements to the design and delivery of the next phase of Caring for our Country
include:



Changes to the program’s strategic objectives and priorities t
o reflect new and
emerging natural resource management priorities, including addressing threats
to biosecurity, threats arising from climate change and enhancing landscape
-
scale and whole
-
of
-
ecosystem approaches



New strategic objectives to respond to feedb
ack about the importance of
aligning land and seascape approaches



Some elements of program delivery will change, with the intention of
continuing to support partnerships and a diverse range of projects while
simplifying processes and further reducing trans
action costs



Investigating ways of simplifying and modernising requirements for monitoring,
evaluation, reporting and improvement.



The Australian Government is committed to ongoing consultation with
stakeholders to implement continuous improvement of the i
nitiative.




Let’s continue the convers
a
tion


Continuing on from the strength of the Caring for our Country review, further targeted
consultations will take place from June to August 2012 to ensure that our stakeholders
remain included and involved in th
e program design of the second phase of the
initiative. Over the coming months the Australian Government will be out and about,
talking through ideas for the future and clarifying the best ways to implement the
review feedback.

The Caring for our Country r
eview demonstrates the value of genuine dialogue and
collaboration. Through the review process, the Australian Government has listened to
stakeholders highlight their key issues. Future arrangements will depend on a
combined effort between Government and s
takeholders to use this knowledge to build
an even stronger Caring for our Country.

With stakeholders we will explore how the next phase of the program will be delivered
including:



How state, regional and local priorities can be represented within the
fram
ework of Caring for our Country’s national strategic objectives



Developing the detailed outcomes for each stream



Which delivery mechanisms will most effectively and efficiently achieve
different objectives



How partnerships of multiple stakeholders might be

utilised



Mechanisms for improving governance standards of regional Natural Resource
Management organisations



How monitoring and evaluation arrangements can be improved.

Even though there is over a year until the next phase begins we expect to finalise
pro
gram arrangements by the end of 2012 to enable some funding to commence from
July 2013. We are starting early to ensure that there is enough time for meaningful
discussion and collaboration. We will continue to use the consultation methods that
proved succ
essful in the Caring for our Country review such as face
-
to
-
face meetings,
an online forum, social media and email newsletters.

Stakeholders are encouraged to remain involved in the conversation and consultation
process of the next phase of Caring for our
Country. Please monitor the website
www.nrm.gov.au for updates and follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/C4oC or
through the Caring for our Country Facebook page www.facebook.com/Caring
-
for
-
our
-
Country.