A major focus of Revitalising Geographe Waterways is to work together in a collaborative approach to develop and maintain strong working partnerships between government, catchment and industry groups and community members to develop and implement a vision for the long-term health and management of Geographe waterways. A number of collaborative partnerships have been established to lead and deliver the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program and ensure the community have a voice in the future management of Geographe waterways.
The Vasse Taskforce is a multi-agency committee with representatives from local and state government, water service providers and catchment groups. The Vasse Taskforce is the driving force behind Revitalising Geographe Waterways, providing overall coordination, supporting project partners and reporting back to the community. The Vasse Taskforce is committed to Revitalising Geographe Waterways to achieve healthy waterways and ultimately a healthier Geographe community.
The Vasse Wonnerup wetlands Science Advisory Group is made up of scientists and managers who have a strong interest and/or research involvement in the wetlands. The Science Advisory Group have been instrumental in setting priorities for the science, monitoring and modelling planned for wetlands for the next four years. In 2015 the Science group was formalised with the following key roles:
The Vasse Wonnerup wetlands Collaboration is a committed group of interested community members, scientists and managers who share a passion for the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands. The first Collaboration workshop was initiated in February 2016 with the outcome of a commitment to ongoing collaboration and improved communication to improve the long-term management of the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands. Since the inaugural workshop the Collaboration have developed a shared dilemma statement, management objectives for the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands and Lower Vasse River, provided input into the Review surge barrier project and greatly enhanced relationships and knowledge of its members. The Collaboration has a continuing important role in defining the future of the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands.
The Sustainable Agriculture Project Reference Group was established to support the sustainable agriculture projects (dairy effluent and fertiliser management) under Revitalising Geographe Waterways and the Regional Estuaries Initiative programs.
The Group is a collaboration of farmers, catchment group representatives, state government agencies and industry working together to oversee projects to reduce nutrient loss off farms and improve water quality. The Sustainable Agriculture Project Reference Group (PRG) works together to maximise outcomes of Sustainable Agriculture projects under Revitalising Geographe Waterways and drive solutions to address the dilemma statement:
How do we take action so that farmland is managed to improve water quality, profitability and productivity and nutrient management?
Strong local community concerns about water quality problems in Geographe waterways led to an Independent review of the management of waterways in the Geographe Catchment and the development of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program. A comprehensive community engagement program has been developed to ensure the broader community and key stakeholders are kept informed of progress of key initiatives and have the opportunity to input into decisions relating to the future management of Geographe waterways.
Community and broad stakeholder input has been sought at different stages of the project to identify the key concerns, values and issues related to Geographe Waterways through workshops, surveys and community updates. Ongoing input will be sought from the community through established collaboration groups including the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands Collaboration and Toby Inlet Advisory group. These groups, comprised of ccommunity members, scientists and waterway managers, have been active in developing management objectives for the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands, Lower Vasse River and Toby Inlet. The Collaboration workshops have been successful at bringing together a wide range of stakeholders; each bringing significant knowledge and experience that add value to the planning process.