Science leader takes a trip for sake of catchment

A Toowoomba scientist will use a travelling bursary to create a report card on the state of the Condamine catchment.

Condamine Alliance Science Leader Lucy Richardson accepted the 2011 Murray Darling Association Travelling Bursary award at the annual Murray Darling Association conference in Dalby on Thursday 8 September.

Science Leader Lucy Richardson

The bursary is awarded each year to allow a younger catchment management authority employee to expand their knowledge and skill base by visiting other areas of natural resource management significance across the Murray Darling Basin.

Ms Richardson is wasting no time in making use of the bursary. Lucy will travel to Newcastle in New South Wales and West Gippsland in Victoria to learn how other organisations have developed report cards on their significant areas.

While reports cards have been developed for several coastal areas including the Gippsland area and South East Queensland, nothing exists for inland catchment areas. “With this project, Condamine Alliance will be the first inland catchment regional body to create a report card on its catchment area. This will be an opportunity to learn from other efforts across Australia and find out what worked well and what could be improved,” Ms Richardson said.

“This will ultimately improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our chosen approach and help us avoid any significant issues. What I learn as part of this process can be applied to all regions of the Murray Darling Basin and other inland catchments.

Report cards are used to identify pressures affecting the catchment’s natural resources, the state of those resources and the community’s responses to these. The information is then used to help guide future activities and investment in the catchment.