Community-led coastal dieback management in Western Australia: Regional NRM groups creating innovative solutions that match and complement government and universities

Hunt M1

1South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc.


Phytophthora Dieback (PD), caused by the soil-borne pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi, is a major threat to coastal ecosystems in the South Coast region of Western Australia (WA). Around 40% of native species in the region are susceptible to PD, resulting in the devastation of large areas of habitat, including high value Threatened Ecological Communities such as Proteaceae Dominated Kwongkan Shrublands. Although PD is not exclusive to coastal areas, there are multiple factors which exacerbate disease expression and rates of spread in coastal habitats, making it a priority for coastal management.

South Coast Natural Resource Management (NRM) has been the leading non-government agency managing PD in WA since 2005, having successfully managed significant funds and in-kind support to deliver on-ground protection and develop mapping tools, planning handbooks, and behaviour change resources. Having built a sound reputation for delivery through strong, long-term collaboration, we developed and published the State Phytophthora Dieback Management and Investment Framework, which is the first truly strategic, tenure-blind, prioritised list of investment areas for PD in WA. It is one of the very few tactical plans anywhere that covers a whole-of-landscape scale for a biosecurity threat. The framework encourages the involvement of multiple sectors, including state and local governments, NRM and community groups, and private land holders, forming a solid protocol for best practice in PD management.

This presentation will explore the framework and other tools developed by South Coast NRM with its partners and discuss the challenges and successes of PD management in the South Coast region.


Mia’s role at South Coast NRM is as the Project Officer for Dieback, working daily with land managers and coastal communities to limit the spread  and mitigate the impact of Phytophthora Dieback in the South Coast Region of Western Australia.

South Coast NRM is based between the coastal towns of Albany and Esperance in South West Western Australia; a region which is famous for its natural beauty and global status as a biodiversity hotspot. We aim to promote resilient communities in our region by providing solutions for a healthy and productive environment across the region.