Locals vital in drought project

BUILDING DROUGHT RESILIENCE: Flinders outback.
BUILDING DROUGHT RESILIENCE: Flinders outback.

Development of a community-led drought resilience plan is a major component of the Regional Drought Resilience Planning Program, part of the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund.

Community input will be a key feature in working towards a drought resilience plan in the Adelaide Plains, Barossa, Mid North, Yorke Peninsula and Southern Ranges due to commence in February 2022.

The Drought Resilience Plan will encourage local communities to prepare for future drought and adopt management practices in line with changing climate and environment conditions.

It will also include relevant information, infrastructure and networks required to enhance resilience and address the economic, environmental and social impacts of drought.

Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North chair Bill Vandepeer said the development of this community-led plan will bring many benefits to our regional communities.

"The plan aims to improve access to water, which is a major issue for parts of the region, but it will also increase access to social infrastructure that will allow for communities to support each other during future droughts," Mr Vandepeer said.

Legatus Group chair and District Council of Mount Remarkable mayor Phillip Heaslip agreed and reflected on the significant changes in landscape management practices over time.

"As a farmer in the Southern Flinders Ranges, we historically reacted to the climatic conditions but what this plan aims to do is change the conversation to being prepared for drought, as it will always be a factor for agricultural communities" Mr Heaslip said.

The consortium has appointed Edge Environment to deliver the co-design and creation of the Northern and Yorke Drought Resilience Plan.

Edge Environment has a great understanding of the region with their previous work including reports on drought-proofing the north, local climate change adaption plans water pre-feasibility assessments.

Northern and Yorke Landscape Board chair Caroline Schaefer said Edge Environment bring a wealth of knowledge that will enhance our regional resilience capabilities.

The Regional Drought Resilience Program is in its foundational year with the Northern and Yorke pilot activities set to run until June.