South West NRM Strategic Direction 2014–2017


South West NRM places more capacity for decision-making and action in the hands of regional landholders and community.

CEO Bernard Holland announces organisation’s new strategic direction:


South West NRM has provided services to the landholders of South West Queensland to support the development of sustainable landscapes for rural communities while building the biodiversity values, which underpin the ecosystems of healthy country.


Much of our work has been pest and weed management through the empowerment of landholders with auspiced funds for equipment, chemicals and traps. We have however, also been delivering mapping services and electro-fishing as specialist support services and recently completed the Early Warning Flood System. Our services and projects have been inclusive of our local indigenous communities to conduct ‘on country’ projects as well.


As we enter the next five year funding cycle from the commonwealth government, I would like to provide an overview to the community of the South West NRM strategic  direction for 2014–2017.


Landcare underpinning all field work

As we establish replacement staff for Amy Gunn and Daniel Wingett after Easter, the Board has approved a regionally focussed but centrally administered landcare service from Charleville. It is vitally important that we retain and build strong connection to and communication with landholders and landcare groups. Every person should have a point of contact with someone at South West NRM and be able to talk face-to-face on a regular basis.


Therefore our Landcare Project Officers will be a regular presence and network with landholders and facilitate conversations around shared issues to find shared solutions. It may be a local strategy for wild dog management or an outbreak of a Class One weed. Alternatively it may be the preparation of a Grant Application to deal with a local environmental issue. To help facilitate this, we will maintain Bollon and Quilpie offices as staging points for the longer trips and a place to meet your South West NRM Landcare Officer.


Engagement with the Education Sector

Coupled with the Landcare model as previously described, is engagement with schools across the south west to run the Eco-Schools programme. I was International Director of Eco-Schools for two years based in Denmark and have worked with Keep Australia Beautiful to host the Eco-Schools in Australia.


If schools take on this framework for student led change, South West NRM will auspice Landcare funds into the school’s parent bodies so students can take on small environmental projects such as energy conservation, tree planting, biodiversity and waste and water projects. Connection internationally will also be possible through this programme.


South West NRM Iconic Project

The Board of South West NRM created and co-funded Collaborative Area Management (CAM) projects with the Mungallala and Morven Clusters for a major barrier fencing project. The feedback from landholders details significant reduction on total grazing pressure and in one case a 100% lambing rate.


South West NRM is now auspicing $3.86m of Queensland government funds to facilitate six more CAM projects over the coming 2.5 years.


Geo Spatial Hub

The Rangeland NRM Alliance has been granted a $1.6m grant over the next two years. The project will firstly combine geo-spatial information into one platform and validate data with on-ground inspections. In future stages and with more funding, landholders will be able to obtain detailed grazing pressure information on their own properties from images and data to inform management decisions.



South West NRM will continue its good work of the past and the future will be focussed on a broader communication and networking strategy to achieve greater local decision-making, which supports improved outcomes. When combined with our CAM and geo-spatial projects we have a bright future, as science will help inform daily decisions on the land.


I look forward to engaging with each community over time and supporting my team to provide great service levels. All the best.


Bernard Holland


Caring for Water on Country in South West Queensland


Background – Caring for Water on Country in South West Queensland Workshop.
Traditional Owners from south west Queensland were invited to provide input into the Bioregional Assessment Project (Phase 1) that South West NRM had been commissioned to do for the Australian Government.  On Friday 10th August 2012, 19 Traditional Owners from the Kooma, Budjiti, Mardigan, Kullilli and Kunja Nations as well as Traditional Owners from neighbouring Nations of Murrawarri and Boonthamurra attended a workshop at the Bidjara Conference Room at Edward Street in Charleville.  Traditional Owners were invited to provide input in regard to the cultural and spiritual values associated with ground and surface water in south west Queensland and to examine the potential impacts which coal seam gas or coal mining developments might have on these water sites; what sites might need to be protected and how this protection might be implemented. 

Position Statement

“Those things have been here for thousands of years now and we are not going to destroy them.  We will look after them, you know”.

The Far South West Aboriginal Natural Resource Management Group representatives who attended the workshop clearly and overtly believe that any mining activity on their traditional lands in south west Queensland is not welcomed or encouraged. There was a strong belief that mining activity and the associated development is not compatible with their traditional values.  Traditional owners in this area have a strong cultural, spiritual and physical connection to country.  The natural environment is not only a physical space for the Aboriginal people but also the home to both the cultural environment and spiritual environment and it all needs to be protected.  To disturb the landscape in any manner disrupts this close connection to the cultural, spiritual and physical environment.  “We need spiritual protection because our ancestors created beings and also the soil, flora, fauna and water and the protection of our cultural heritage sites is also needed as this is home to our stories and our objects and our artifacts within that landscape”. It is for these inter-related connectivity reasons that mining development is not compatible with core Aboriginal values.


Introducing the River People

“The creeks and gullies are our arteries and water is our blood and without that blood which is the water we are stuffed.  We want the lot of them protected, not just the rivers”.

The south west Queensland traditional owners are known as ‘River People’.  Other Aboriginal groups strongly identify with deserts (desert people) and the coast (coastal people).  However, the entire history of the River People in both the recent past (last 200 years) as well as the ancient past (over many millennia) have demonstrated a strong connection to the watersheds.   “Our people living on these watersheds owned 100% of the resources including the water and the plants and the animals that were there and those foods were feeding our mob and those wallabies were for our people and all that food and water and bush medicine - they were all to sustain the mob in that particular watershed and they were our resources”.

The key types of water sites (listed in no particular order) that were important to the Traditional Owners were:

  • Natural springs
  • Water holes
  • Lakes
  • Rivers
  • Wetlands
  • Bores and the artesian basin
  • Underground rivers
  • The flow of surface water
  • Native wells
  • Native springs
  • Gilgais
  • Ephemeral claypans.

The release of the Guide to the proposed Basin Plan represents a significant step towards the historic adoption of the first Basin Plan in 2011.

Abstract or description: 

Introduction — the purpose of the Guide

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (the Authority) is preparing the Guide to the proposed Basin Plan to present proposals to the community for discussion. These proposals are about the key decisions the Authority is required to make under the Water Act 2007 (Cwlth), in particular the new limits on water that can be taken from the Basin, known as long-term average sustainable diversion limits (SDLs), which will apply to both surface water and  groundwater. The proposed Basin Plan (a legislative instrument) will be released later this year or early next year. This document sets out proposals on the main issues in the plan.
The Authority is endorsing the issuing of the overview, noting that it represents a set of proposals based on the information provided to the Authority by its staff, state and federal governments, stakeholders, consultants and others. A technical background to the Guide (volume 2) provides greater scientific detail, with 19 regional guides dealing with the specifics of each region and the proposals as they affect each region. Volume 2 and the regional  guides are being approved for release by the chief executive. The Authority is interested in the views of the community and stakeholders on the proposals in the Guide and on the quality of data and evidence used and the analysis that has been undertaken. The Authority will consider any feedback in finalising the Basin Plan.

Structure tag: 
Board Docs ( archive)
Regional Plan
News & Events
South West NRM Catchment
Nebine Mungallala Wallam
NRM Topic: 
Waterways management documents
File Attachments

Charleville Botanical Reserve Draft Management Plan

Abstract or description: 

The Charleville Botanical Reserve is an area of approximately 2200 hectares, situated
within the Murweh Shire and lying 15 kilometres south of Charleville, as shown in
Figure 1. Previously used for grazing as part of the Town Common and as a holding area
for stock awaiting transportation, it was known in later years as the ‘Stock Trucking
Reserve’. In 1963 it was leased as a ‘butcher’s paddock’ to a local butcher, for use as a
holding area for stock prior to slaughter. When this lease expired in 2003, the area was
gazetted as an Environmental Reserve under the trusteeship of the Murweh Shire
Council. Appendix 1 provides a summary of the history of the Reserve from its
declaration in 1898 to the present day.

Structure tag: 
Regional Plan
NRM Topic: 
Conservation Planning and Policy
Local and District Planning
File Attachments

Nature Conservation Plan Draft

Abstract or description: 

This is a draft of a nature conservation plan presented for the South West Natural Resource Management Strategy. Authored by James Grischeff. Date about early 1999.

Structure tag: 
Regional Plan
NRM Topic: 
SWNRM Regional Plan
File Attachments

Sustainable Natural Resource Management in Southwest Queensland

Abstract or description: 

This is an application for funding in 1997-2000 to the Murray Darling Basin Commission for a natural resource management strategy. It includes copies of official forms and budgets.

Structure tag: 
Regional Plan
NRM Topic: 
SWNRM Regional Plan
File Attachments