CHIEF executive Neil McCarthy farewelled North East Catchment Management Authority on January 5 to explore new opportunities on a global scale.
Mr McCarthy served six years in the CEO role, bringing extensive experience in natural resource management (NRM) to North East CMA, particularly through his work with Parks Victoria.
He said his highlights included: “The recognition by our organisation that community might know how to solve the problems confronting us in NRM.”
“It is a journey we have only just started but there are great examples from the blackberry groups through to the innovative approaches to do with deer. It is so important to support communities, and the achievement recently with the Mid-King River Action Group regarding living with a dynamic river system just confirms that this is the only sensible approach for the future,” he said.
He said working with North East CMA came with significant, and diverse, responsibilities.
“It is so complex when you consider the significance of north east Victoria to the economic wellbeing of Australia. The north east region generates 38 per cent of the water for the Murray Darling system and thus the agriculture powerhouse of the system downstream couldn’t exist without the quality of management of the upper catchment,” he said.
“Our responsibility under our legislation empowers us to integrate and co-ordinate the management of catchments to maintain and enhance long-term productivity, while also conserving the environment. This means we work with everyone across a huge area and all facets of land, water and environmental management. A huge task for a very small organisation.”
Mr McCarthy said he enjoyed making a difference and watching others make a difference.
“An example of this has been how leaders in agriculture have been coming together over the last few years in a way that is highlighting the real potential of the north east. The foundation of this has been nurtured for a very long time by the likes of John Brown and the Alpine Valleys Community Leadership program, and it has been a real pleasure to be able to support AVCLP and my staff and community who have been involved.
“This role has reaffirmed my commitment to community leadership.”
North East CMA chairperson, Leanne Mulcahy, said the Board wholeheartedly thanked Mr McCarthy for his strategic leadership since he took on the role as CEO back in 2012.
“Our organisation has certainly benefitted from his dedicated contribution and we wish Neil well in this new chapter. We congratulate him on his appointment as part time CEO of World Urban Parks and have no doubt he will continue to make a most valuable contribution to the environment through that role,” Ms Mulcahy said.
“We have appointed Tony Long as interim CEO while we finalise recruitment arrangements for a new CEO.”