Volunteers play a big part

Western Australia’s Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) won this year’s Premiers Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management, in the ‘Sustainable Environment’ category for their Eastern Hills Catchment Project (EHCMP). The Award recognises outstanding performance and achievement by agencies or work teams in the protection, conservation or enhancement of the natural environment in WA.

“ I am pleased to accept this Award on behalf of the EMRC,” said Chief Executive Officer, Gavin Watters. “This is a partnership project between the EMRC and the member Councils of Swan, Mundaring and Kalamunda.”

The EHCMP covers 18 per cent of the metropolitan area. It is seeking to create a culture of environmental protection within the institutions and agencies of the region, as well as educating the community on ecologically sustainable practices.

The number of volunteers involved with the EHCMP has played a significant role in the achievement of the Award.In the past 18 months, nearly 100 community volunteer groups, three Local Government authorities, and a host of State and Commonwealth departments have been involved in achieving a sustainable environment within Perth’s Eastern Hills.

Covering 1,750 square kilometres and a population of about 60,000 this is a grassroots project that has arisen in response to the communities’ desire to become involved in catchment management and landcare. With the support of over 2,000 volunteers the project has a significant community network and this is a fitting Award in the year of the Volunteer.

Volunteers have assisted in establishing 200,000 native plants within the region. They have also assisted and supported the five major catchment groups focusing on bushland protection and water quality management.

EMRC was among 125 other entries received from 59 agencies across government departments, statutory authorities, Local Government authorities and universities.

For further information contact EMRC Executive Manager, Environmental Services, Mick McCarthy, telephone (08) 9479 4808.