Climate and drought resilience is being strengthened across the agricultural region with the development of localised plans for communities to manage future climate risk.
A series of workshops were held recently to develop the pilot Drought Resilience Plans for 16 local government areas across the Great Southern, Wheatbelt and Mid West.
The workshops, delivered by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the Mid West, Wheatbelt and Great Southern Regional Development Commissions, are part of the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund Regional Drought Resilience Planning Program.
Regional Drought Resilience Program Steering Committee chair, Wheatbelt Development Commission Chief Executive Officer Rob Cossart, said the plans drew on scientific data, as well as local knowledge and experience.
“Climate vulnerability assessments for each region have been developed through stakeholder consultation and analysis of technical information,” he said.
“We have been working with local government, industry, grower groups, natural resource management organisations and the Aboriginal community to develop the plans.”
The Regional Drought Resilience Plans take an evidence based approach to identify actions to prepare communities for future climate impacts, with a focus on the agricultural sector and applied supply chain industries.
“The plans cover a range of issues and consider matters, such as climate risks, like fire, flood drought and frost, social and economic impacts, as well as the definition of drought in Western Australia and regional demographics,” Mr Cossart said.
“They will be a valuable resource for local communities to identify climate impacts and to consider incremental, transitional and transformational opportunities.
“The initiative will also increase community understanding of climate resilience across social, environmental and economic strategic priorities.”
The Regional Drought Resilience Plans span the shires of Greater Geraldton, Northampton, Chapman Valley, Dumbleyung, Kulin, Kondinin, Lake Grace, Wagin, Jerramungup, Kent, Gnowangerup, Katanning, Kojonup, Cranbrook, Woodanilling and Broomehill-Tambellup.
The plans are expected to be completed by the end of the financial year.
Megan Broad/Katrina Bowers, media liaison
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