Rehydrating Malpas

Rehydrating the group, rehydrating the catchment

Rehydrating Malpas

Rehydrating the group, rehydrating the catchment

Community Participation -


The issue

Malpas Catchment Group had been relatively inactive for several years for a range of reasons: lack of succesful funding for on-ground works, disruption from local government mergers, impacts of drought, bushfire and flood, and changes in Coordinator staff. The group had lost its mojo.

The solution

Using Malpas Catchment Project funds from Armidale Regional Council, Southern New England Landcare contracted Pete Fitzgerald to build engagement in the Malpas Catchment Group, work with the group to prepare a five-year action plan, and prepare a business case for the 5-year future of the Malpas Catchment Coordinator in consultation with the Malpas Catchment Group, Armidale Regional Council and Southern New England Landcare. Pete also scouted for potential funding to assist the group undertake future on ground works.

The impact

Two participatory workshops and some one-on-one interviews co-created a new five-year action plan. The group ratified their plan, and a simple, one-page version became a group resource. The group also participated in Armidale Regional Council's Catchment Water Quality Strategic Plan community consultation, and learnt how key they were to catchment health. 

Opportunities to build group momentum then fell into place:

  1. Malpas Catchment Group was invited to partner with peer network GWYMAC Inc, using funding from Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, to host the Mulloon Institute at Bill and Jacqui Perrottet's property, 'Urandangie'. Forty two participants filled the woolshed on 3rd June 2022 for presentations by Peter Hazell and Jack Smart, focussing on the fundamentals of landscape rehydration. After morning tea, small groups conducted exercises in the paddock, which helped turn theory into practice.
  2. Southern New England Landcare was invited to partner with the University of New England and GLENRAC Inc. in a successful grant, "Drought Resilient Pasture Landscapes Scaled Through Communities of Practice", funded by the Australian Government. The Malpas Catchment Group will become one of five key participating landholder groups in this two year project (2022-2024).
  3. From July 2022 to June 2024, funding from both the UNE project and the Malpas Catchment Project will combine to enable Southern New England Landcare to engage a part time Project Officer (Sustainable Agriculture) support five rural groups, including the Malpas Catchment Group.
  4. Armidale Regional Council is now investigating additional funds to support the UNE project and Malpas Catchment Group to conduct high level water quality monitoring activities in the Malpas Catchment.

Key facts

  • Malpas Catchment Group had been relatively inactive.
  • Southern New England Landcare took an alternative approach to 'rehydrate' the group.
  • A five-year group action plan was co-created.
  • A field day hosted speakers from the Mulloon Institute on landscape rehydration.
  • The group will now participate in a two-year project hosted by University of New England.

Project Partners