Professor Barry Hart, Chair, Gippsland Lakes and Catchment Task Force

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Professor Barry Hart, Chair, Gippsland Lakes and Catchment Task Force

  1. 1. The Gippsland Lakes A Community Forum November 2008
  2. 2. Gippsland Lakes Task Force <ul><li>Established in 2001 by the Minister for Environment and Conservation </li></ul><ul><li>Independent chair (Prof. Barry Hart) </li></ul><ul><li>Membership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local Government EPA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gippsland Coastal Board Southern Rural Water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>East Gippsland CMA West Gippsland CMA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>East Gippsland Water Gippsland Water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DSE DPI </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Key Objective <ul><li>To protect the ecological health of the Gippsland Lakes by ensuring the adaptive integrated management of both the Lakes and catchment </li></ul><ul><li>Actions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Implement Action Plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitate integration and coordinate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor and evaluate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify and address key knowledge gaps </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Achievements <ul><li>$19.8M allocated by State Govt over last 7 years </li></ul><ul><li>75% spent on on-ground actions for nutrient & sediment reductions (MID, high rainfall dairy, tunnel erosion, foreshore protection, stormwater & wetlands) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Lakes are precious’ campaign to engage community in Lakes awareness and actions </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring of nutrient loads (event monitoring) </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring in-lake conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Research to identify best value (activities & locations) for investment of funds </li></ul><ul><li>Substantial leveraging of regional and Federal funds </li></ul><ul><li>Investigations into role of lake sediments and causes of algal blooms </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluations of work to date and planning for future </li></ul>
  5. 5. Total Phosphorus Load (tonne) Year (1 June - 31 May)
  6. 6. 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 TP Concentration (ug/L) TP Concentration (ug/L)
  7. 7. The Future <ul><li>Lakes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>likely impacts from climate change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lakes will become an even more dynamic system over the next 20-30 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will change from the current estuarine coastal embayment system to a more marine system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Catchment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>also in transition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>more bushfires </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>challenges for the irrigation industry (Macalister Irrigation District) - water availability and cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>expansion of the rain-fed dairy industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>potential for major landscape changes to improve biodiversity values </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Task Force Actions (next 4 years) <ul><li>Continued actions to reduce nutrients entering the Lakes – focus on: - Macalister Irrigation District (MID) - Rain-fed dairy regions - Forested regions (bushfires) - Rehabilitating waterways and drainage lines </li></ul><ul><li>Better reporting on the Gippsland Lakes ‘health’ through an improved ecosystem monitoring and assessment program </li></ul><ul><li>Improved communications program </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing program of targeted investigations to address key gaps in knowledge as the Lakes system changes </li></ul>
  9. 9. Immediate future <ul><li>Snap shot survey of the ecological health of the Lakes and impact of algal bloom </li></ul><ul><li>Synechococcus workshop </li></ul><ul><li>Undertake risk assessment of potential contaminants (pesticides, pharmaceuticals, hormones and heavy metals) </li></ul><ul><li>Complete nutrient dynamics research </li></ul><ul><li>Seek on-going funding from State and Federal Governments </li></ul>

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