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Welcome to the Natural State eNewsletter for May 2012. This month has been an active period for us at Reef Catchments with staff continuing to deliver projects across our program portfolios coupled with our corporate services team finalizing contractual obligations and business administration operations for the financial year along with planning for the new 2012/13 year that lies ahead.
The major news item for NRM in our region in May was aligned to the Commonwealth government hand down of its annual budget statement which included its new 5 year investment plan for its flagship NRM program “Caring for Our Country”. Media speculation prior to the budget strongly indicated that the pressures of needing a surplus budget by the end of 2012/13 would see a much reduced Caring for Our Country Program of investment. What was realized was a continuance of investment nearing $2.2 billion over 5 years via the Caring for Our Country Program coupled with a recommitment to the role and functions of NRM regional bodies. An outline of correspondence from the government concerning the 2013/14 to 2017/18 can be downloaded here: AGLC Standard Words
While the details of the new Caring for Our Country programs are yet to be finalized the investment provided via the Caring for Our Country Program coupled with the Clean Energy Futures Initiative and the Water for a Future program does offer significant opportunities aligned to natural resources management for the region. Our collective challenge is to provide a business case worthy of government investment in our region coupled with a services delivery model which delivers what the investor is seeking while meeting our regional community needs and wants. In view of the importance of this need Reef Catchments has already begun the conceptual planning for this series of actions and will also be evaluating its strategic and operational plans in the early part of 2013.