"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
UMCN is the ‘go to’ organisation for networking, learning and discussing natural resource management issues and activities in the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment. We provide a strong connection between community groups and government bodies. UMCN brings people together across jurisdictional boundaries as a clear recognition that natural resource management issues do not stop at state or council boundaries.
One of the strengths of UMCN is the diversity amongst its membership and the wide range of backgrounds and community opinions. We encourage community awareness of natural resource management issues and support active public participation. Therefore, representation of the thoughts and concerns of the wider community at UMCN meetings is vital.
Our networking structure is an ideal forum for the exchange of ideas and information, as a means to overcome professional isolation, and as a body able to present independent and considered views on natural resource management to government. UMCN supports and undertakes a range of actions which facilitate knowledge sharing in the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment including publications, workshops, field inspections, letters, forums and participation in public inquiries.
Natural resource management issues being addressed by UMCN members in the Catchment include salinity, weed control, nutrification, algal infestation of waterways and loss of natural vegetation. The commonalities of these issues underline the value of a cross-jurisdictional, coordinated approach to achieve shared objectives. Stormwater management, floodplain management, groundwater management and water allocation for both human activity and the environment cannot be addressed in any other sensible way- water does not stop at state or council boundaries.
UMCN is a not for profit forum through which the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment community can share and collaborate to improve and protect the natural values within the catchment. UMCN is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission.
There are the three pillars on which UMCN stands which enables us to continuously work towards being the organisation that people turn to for networking, learning and discussing natural resource management issues and activities in the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment.
Dynamic and diverse networks
UMCN seeks to be a resilient and inclusive organisation that has a strong and diverse membership from all tiers of government, community, industry and NGOs.
Sharing and learning
UMCN values knowledge sharing and provides an efficient conduit for conversations between community and agencies.
Through its actions, UMCN contributes to creating an aware and capable community.
UMCN facilitates strategic collaborations that contribute to catchment wide outcomes.
Representative and effective
UMCN is an active network that is recognised as important to a diversity of natural resource management players.
UMCN has a strong and clearly defined profile in the region.
The Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Coordinating Committee (UMCCC) progressively formed during the 1990s as an interjurisdictional body supported by the NSW government’s Total Catchment Management program. By 1996, UMCCC formed a subcommittee of the Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Committee (a precursor to the Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority, now part of South East Local Land Services) and provided an opportunity for natural resource management practitioners in both the ACT and the surrounding areas of NSW to contribute to planning and landscape management at a catchment scale.
Isabella Pond Wetlands © Jamie Dawson
While the focus of UMCCC was to facilitate coordination and collaboration between natural resource management practitioners across borders, there has been a history of leading strategic projects that have had wide ranging and long lasting impact. The early focus for UMCCC was the management of vegetation across the catchment and one of the key outputs was a Regional Willow Management Strategy. This was first produced in 1998, revised in 2010, and continues to provide the guiding document for NSW and ACT governments on willow management in the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment. In 2010 UMCCC brought together stakeholders and the wider Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment community to develop the Actions for Clean Water Plan (2012) (ACWA) following a series of high turbidity events in the upper Murrumbidgee River. This plan provided a catchment wide prioritisation of actions to help improve water quality in the catchment.
Between 2013 and 2016 UMCCC underwent significant changes with a loss of funding to support the operation of the organisation. UMCCC members shouldered the administrative roles and the organisation operated on a volunteer basis. During this time, the organisation gained independence and strength of purpose as a community-based network and in 2016, the name was changed to Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Network (UMCN).