Environmental Water Advisory Group chair committed to working together for a healthy catchment

Macquarie-Cudgegong Environmental Water Advisory Group chair Ian Rogan is inspired by the belief that sustainable agriculture and thriving ecosystems can coexist.

Macquarie-Cudgegong Environmental Water Advisory Group (EWAG) chairman Ian Rogan

Based on a small rural property near Millthorpe on the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, Mr Rogan operates a plant nursery business and runs a few head of cattle.

Mr Rogan is an agricultural scientist with more than 40 years of experience in agricultural research and advisory services in the government and private sectors.

Mr Rogan's involvement with Landcare and the Central West Catchment Management Authority led to his role as Environmental Water Advisory Group (EWAG) chair – a position he has held for a decade.

"I was a member of the Central West Catchment Management Authority board when I was approached to take on the role of chair of the Macquarie–Cudgegong Rivers Environmental Flows Reference Group (EFRG as it was known then) in 2012," Mr Rogan said.

Mr Rogan is driven by a commitment to sustainable agricultural best practices and favourable management of ecosystems and natural resources.

"I believe we can achieve productive, profitable land use while protecting, conserving and, where possible, improving the ecological status of our environmental assets."

The New South Wales Water for the Environment Program is, Mr Rogan said, essential in ensuring the longevity of the Macquarie–Cudgegong catchment's wetlands, rivers, and floodplains, including the iconic Ramsar-listed Macquarie Marshes.

"There has been a significant investment in building environmental water assets for our Cudgegong and Macquarie River systems," Mr Rogan said.

"They are regulated river systems, so we need to ensure there is active, effective management of those environmental water assets."

He is driven by a desire not only to sustain but improve the health of these landscapes.

"We need to continue to build the knowledge and data which defines the health and extent of key water-dependent environmental assets of our Cudgegong and Macquarie River systems, including the internationally recognised Macquarie Marshes, native fish, amphibians, birds, aquatic and riverine and floodplain vegetation communities," Mr Rogan explained.

Environmental Water Advisory Groups hold a multi-faceted role whereby members can:

  • directly contribute to decisions about the practical objectives, priorities and targeted outcomes for environmental water in current and upcoming water years, including updating them when conditions change
  • provide input into governance processes including the annual environmental water plans and advice required under the relevant water sharing plans
  • act as an information conduit to contribute information to inform environmental water management and to provide information back to catchment communities
  • contribute to processes the department use to review the performance and function of decision-making and Environmental Water Advisory Groups.

"I strongly believe that the Environmental Water Advisory Group plays an important role in gathering community views about the priorities for water-dependent environmental assets across our river system and the most effective ways to manage our environmental water to achieve the best outcomes for those environmental assets," Mr Rogan said.