South East natural resources management enters new era

News article |

South East natural resources management will enter a new era with the appointment of Dr Kerry DeGaris as the Presiding Member to lead the new Limestone Coast Landscape Board.

The Limestone Coast Landscape Board is one of nine new regional landscape boards, which will, from July, administer the new Landscape South Australia Act 2019, including a new metropolitan landscape board, Green Adelaide.

The Landscape SA reforms deliver on another election commitment for the Marshall Liberal Government, paving the way for a back-to-basics approach to how we manage our natural resources.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the new boards will play a crucial role across our regions by partnering with community groups, local government and industry to ensure our state’s regional landscapes and farming industries are thriving, resilient and sustainable.

“We went to the election with a commitment to deliver better natural resources management and that’s what we are getting on with doing,” said Minister Speirs.

“The recent devastating bushfires and ongoing drought conditions have highlighted just how important the management of our landscapes is to support our state’s economy and resilience of our regional communities.

“The new boards are designed to deliver a stronger, back-to-basics system with an emphasis on effective water management, pest plant and animal control and soil and land management.

“The appointments of new Presiding Members come following the successful passing of the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 and the creation of new landscape regions, paving the way for the Marshall Liberal Government to reform natural resources management and give local communities a greater say in how levies are spent.

“These respected community leaders have been appointed based on their connection with regional communities, industry knowledge and experience in the management of our state’s landscapes.”

Community members interested in becoming a Limestone Coast Landscape Board member are encouraged to register their interest, with applications open until 6 March 2020 at

Member for MacKillop Nick McBride encouraged those with a passion for natural resources management in the South East to apply.

“I congratulate Dr DeGaris on her appointment as Presiding Member,” said Mr McBride.

“The new Limestone Coast Landscape Board will have a back-to-basics approach when it comes to our natural environment and will ensure that the local community has a far greater say in its management.

“This is a new era for natural resources management in the South East and we need strategic thinkers with significant industry knowledge and experience to join the new board.

Limestone Coast Landscape Board Presiding Member Dr Kerry DeGaris said she was looking forward to strengthening ties with the local community.

“Our role will be to work alongside local landholders and the community to deliver practical, on-ground projects,” said Dr DeGaris.

“The new board will be more independent, and have the flexibility to respond to local issues around water, soils, pest plants and animals and biodiversity.

“To deliver locally targeted projects, we’ll be partnering with farming groups, the local Aboriginal community, environmental organisations, and local councils, and our focus will be how we can best support our community to be directly responsible for managing our landscapes.”

Initially all board members will be appointed by the Minister, but from 2022 three out of seven members will be elected by the community (except for the specialist board Green Adelaide and the Alinytjara Wiluṟara board, which is already represented by select regional leaders).

To ensure a smooth transition for regional communities, NRM services will continue to be delivered under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 until the new Act 2019 is fully operational on 1 July 2020.

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