The global theme for this year's World Habitat Day is waste management - a subject close to rural Victorian rate payers' hearts.
Not only are many landowners actively caring for our environments 24 x 7 including through local landcare groups, councils also hold them to account.
Many rural people pay astronomical amounts for elaborate waste treatment plants so as to protect nearby water quality.
Yet sadly, the same rural people are often left post duck shooting season, to contend with ammunition cartridges, human effluent and animal body parts around the water's edge, diminishing the appeal of our beautiful waterways we could otherwise proudly show to visitors or tourists.
But our precious environments are also at risk of something else far more difficult for locals to face.
"Horror Forecast has CFA on High Alert" (The Age August 2018)
" NSW’s month of bushfires – in the middle of winter – has Victorian authorities preparing for a horror fire season." (The Age August 2018)
"An unattended campfire was blamed for a 3ha blaze in Kialla on Wednesday as authorities warn of a worrying trend.....The region is among the likely to experience an above average bushfire season... Hume, along with the regional areas of West, South and East Gippsland, have had high levels of landscape dryness as entering into spring....Climate outlooks produced by the BoM indicated warmer and drier conditions, which would only worsen the current state of dryness in spring and early summer. " (Shepparton News September 2018)
With the impending "horror" fire season, there is a clear need to avoid any un-necessary risk and to hold a thorough early assessment to identify any areas or activities of potential concern.
This World Habitat Day, we appeal to our Ministers to protect our unique environments and wildlife. It's about ensuring future generations' enjoyment of our precious natural assets and allowing current generations to benefit from the growing trend of nature based tourism.