Wimmera development, catchment, water and local government have joined forces to study the socio-economic value of recreation and environment water to the Wimmera and southern Mallee.
Wimmera Development Association is working with project partners Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, Gwmwater and West Wimmera Shire, Hindmarsh Shire, Yarriambiack Shire, Horsham Rural City, Northern Grampians Shire and Buloke Shire councils.
The project will involve community groups to catalogue and quantify the social and economic benefits of recreational and environmental water.
Wimmera Development Association project officer Mark Fletcher said Dimboola Rowing Regatta was a prime example of an event that involved recreational water and brought substantial financial benefits to the town.
“Various campgrounds and adjoining lakes bring and attract campers and anglers to the region, from both within and outside the state,” he said.
Mr Fletcher said one of the project aims was to establish a base-line data set and consistent measurement methods that would allow for a ‘longitudinal’ study to identify seasonal patterns in coming years.
“Once collected and analysed the information will provide a better understanding of the economic impact of environmental and recreational water as well as the social benefits that these resources provide to the community,” he said.
“We need to understand and measure these values so planning for future tourism, recreational and infrastructure facilities can be identified.
“Project outputs will also help demonstrate the local and regional impacts to both state and commonwealth governments to attract support and funding for further development of infrastructure and services associated with recreational water.” Street Ryan Pty Ltd is project consultant. Work has started to develop a series of questionnaires to share with regional management committees, sporting clubs and others likely to have an involvement in recreational water activity.
People can complete a survey on Wimmera Development Association website www.wda.org.au.