A BRIEF HISTORY
The 1990’s was recognised as the decade of Landcare and the formation of Catchment Groups. In the late 1990’s it was recognised that a regional approach was needed to manage larger scale issues and cross catchment projects. A group of people, initially supported by the Qld Government and catchment relationships, was formed and became incorporated in 1999 as the Northern Gulf Regional Strategy Group. National Heritage Trust 1 funds were successfully sought to employ a Regional Coordinator and develop the Regional Strategy, which was endorsed in 2002 by the State Government.
In 2002 the NGRMG Inc ran its first devolved grant (springs project) and organised an Indigenous forum to bring the Elders of the Traditional Owner Groups together. In May 2002 those Elders came together and formed the Northern Gulf Indigenous Savannah Group.
The year 2002 also saw early consultation and project development for the impending Natural Heritage Trust 2 program – ghost nets and grazing land management become common language by the end of that year. A coordinator for the NGISG was also appointed at the end of this year.
The year 2003 was the year in which the NGRMG Inc began restructuring for the new arrangements and the formalisation of a new constitution. NGRMG was registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee in September 2003 and the subsequent AGM saw the election of the new Executive.
The year 2004 saw major planning activity under the Foundation Funds as well as on-ground projects through the Priority Actions funds – such as the wash down bay. The staff expanded with the appointment of GIS support and Landcare Coordinator (Grazing Lands Officer) under Coordinator and Facilitator funds and National Landcare Program respectively. NGRMG Ltd became an accredited body under the Natural Heritage Trust program.
In early 2005 the Northern Gulf Region Natural Resource Management Plan was accredited and soon after the Regional Investment Strategy ($4.2 million) was approved and later extended to December 2008 ($6.2 million).
In 2007 with the NHT 2 program drawing to a close, widespread community consultation was undertaken and a new Regional Investment Strategy (2008-2013) was developed, along with a revised regional natural resource plan and targets. A change in government in November 2007 resulted in the Natural Heritage Trust program being replaced by the “Caring for our Country” program. Transitional projects were approved for the 2008-2009 year and NGRMG was reasonably successful in the National Landcare and Open Grants processes – ensuring regional priorities were still being met.
The NGRMG is moving towards commercial business arrangements that help deliver the aspirations of the company.