Landmark multi-agency agreement with Gunaikurnai
A ground-breaking partnership agreement with the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) has been signed by 13 natural resource agencies and organisations working across Gippsland.
The multi-agency joint agreement was proposed through the Gippsland Environmental Agencies (GEA) alliance, and includes Victorian Government departments, water corporations, catchment management authorities and other non-profit organisations. A recent joint signing event in Traralgon was attended by John Bradley, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Secretary.
GLaWAC Acting CEO, Grattan Mullett said, “The signing of this agreement demonstrates the commitment of GLaWAC and the GEA to work in partnership to meet our common goals. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with all agencies involved and creating new opportunities that are mutually beneficial.”
Southern Rural Water Managing Director, Clinton Rodda, said the GEA members were honoured to work together on the agreement, which forms the basis for working on land and water initiatives that involve the Gunaikurnai community. “It’s been a long time in the making – getting all these organisations together to create a framework that supports GLaWAC’s objectives under the Gunaikurnai Whole of Country Plan,” he said. "We're all looking forward to getting on with delivering actions from the plan."
West Gippsland CMA CEO, Martin Fuller, said: ““Working with Traditional Owner groups is an important part of what we do; this agreement supports this approach. We’re looking forward to continuing the good work we’ve been doing with GLaWAC for a number of years.”
Gippsland Water Managing Director, Sarah Cumming, said, “We’re pleased to be part of this joint agreement and anticipate that it will lead to some really positive outcomes for our region.”
The multi-agency agreement recognises that Traditional Owner groups often do not have the resources or time to negotiate separate agreements with individual agencies. The GLaWAC management team worked together with GEA, chaired by Graeme Dear from the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, to create a common set of objectives and incorporate each organisation’s initiatives.
The agencies and organisations who have signed the GLaWAC agreement include: DELWP Gippsland, Parks Victoria, the Gunaikurnai Traditional Owner Land Management Board, East Gippsland CMA, West Gippsland CMA, Environment Protection Authority, Southern Rural Water, Gippsland Water, East Gippsland Water, South Gippsland Water, Agriculture Victoria (DEDJTR), Trust for Nature and North East CMA.
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