Floodplain harvesting stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder workshop sessions

The NSW Government is currently implementing the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy (the policy) as part of broader water management reforms across the Murray-Darling Basin.

The Policy aims to provide the following:

  • provide clarity and certainty around how floodplain harvesting is managed in NSW
  • protect downstream users and the environment from the effects of unconstrained floodplain harvesting
  • secure the social licence for legitimate floodplain harvesting activities to continue
  • provide a licensing regime that will form the basis for effective compliance and enforcement.

Implementation of the policy has required significant investment in data and hydrological modelling to accurately quantify floodplain processes and the floodplain harvesting components of water-sharing plan limits. Licensed floodplain harvesting extractions will be created through amendments to the Water Management Act regulations and will provide certainty and security for eligible floodplain water users to access the resource within water-sharing plan limits.

To ensure the effective implementation of the policy, the Department of Industry—Water is holding a series of workshop sessions across NSW.

Engagement principles – our commitment to you

The department is committed to engaging with stakeholders and the community in a way that is:

  • Purposeful — undertaken with a clear understanding of what we want to achieve, and delivering on NSW Government priorities and the department’s corporate goals
  • Inclusive — identifying and enabling the participation of all relevant stakeholders
  • Timely — providing sufficient time for meaningful consultation, outlining timeframes up front and conducting engagement activities in an efficient manner
  • Transparent — explaining the engagement process, providing information to enable meaningful participation and setting clear expectations around how participants’ input will inform outcomes
  • Respectful — acknowledging the needs, experience, perspective and expertise of participants.

Implementation and responsibility

The department is committed to ensuring that relevant, meaningful and timely information is delivered to key stakeholders throughout the duration of the Floodplain Harvesting Program.

The department implements the above commitments in line with the department’s Stakeholder and Community Engagement Policy and principles of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) model.

Workshop series 1

Workshop series 1 involves three (3) workshops in Dubbo, Sydney and Tamworth in October 2018. The purpose of this workshop series 1 is to:

  • communicate process for finalising floodplain harvesting modelling
  • overview the model refinement process including data sources and verification processes
  • test key floodplain harvesting modelling assumptions
  • provide information about the independent review of NSW floodplain harvesting policy implementation including the modelling peer review process
  • test key monitoring and auditing requirements.
Dubbo Monday 8 October 2018 
Sydney Wednesday 10 October 2018 
Tamworth Friday 12 October 2018

Workshop series 2

Workshop series 2 will occur in early – mid 2019. Locations and dates for these sessions will be released soon. The purpose of workshop series 2 is to present:

  • independent review outcomes
  • model calibration results per valley
  • revised valley scale floodplain harvesting results per valley.

Independent peer review

To improve stakeholder confidence, the department together with the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) have commissioned an independent review of NSW floodplain harvesting policy implementation including independent peer review of revised floodplain harvesting modelling in Northern NSW.

The focus of the independent review is to ensure that the modelling is technically robust, based on the best available information and that implementation of the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy is consistent with relevant legislation and other related policies.

As the scope (PDF 300.2 KB) of the independent review contains both technical and policy implementation related matters, two independent reviewers have been appointed.

Tony Weber is one of Australia’s leading practitioners in the hydrologic modelling and water quality fields. He has worked in both government and consulting roles in the waterway management, modelling and water quality disciplines at technical and management levels, including in water treatment, laboratory analysis, strategic planning, research coordination, consulting and peer review areas. Tony is currently the National Lead – Water Modelling with consulting company Alluvium based in Brisbane, Queensland and has over 30 years’ experience in the water industry delivering a range of catchment modelling, water sensitive urban design, integrated water management, water quality and stormwater management projects. He is passionate about collaboration and science based decision making and promotes these in all his projects.

Greg Claydon, now retired from full-time work, has extensive water industry and natural resources management knowledge, experience and achievements, built primarily on his roles as a senior executive with Queensland’s and Western Australia’s state government water, environment, natural resources and primary industries agencies, and his very active involvement in industry and community initiatives and networks. He is recognised at state, national and international levels for his work in water and associated natural resources reforms, in whole of river basin planning and management, and in integrated urban water planning and management. During his working career, Greg was actively involved in several interjurisdictional water and natural resources initiatives, including those covering the Council of Australian Governments (CoAG), the Murray-Darling Basin, the Lake Eyre Basin, the Great Artesian Basin and the Ord River Basin. Greg has tertiary qualifications in agricultural engineering and has work experience in New Zealand, Canada, the USA, the Caribbean, Japan, Singapore, Turkey and China. He was awarded a Public Service Medal (PSM) by the Governor-General of Australia in the 2009 Australia Day Honours Awards for outstanding public service in natural resources management and water reform.


General questions

General questions relating to Floodplain Harvesting can be sent at any time to floodplain.harvesting@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Independent review – implementation of the Floodplain Harvesting Policy

Written submissions into the independent review process can initially be made until 16 November 2018 by emailing fphreview@alluvium.com.au or mailing FPH Review, c/- PO Box 423, Fortitude Valley, Qld, 4006.

These submissions should detail any comments or concerns that you have in relation to the implementation of the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy in particular, evidence that you would like to see to give you confidence that the revised modelling is based on the best available information. As part of the independent review process, the reviewers will undertake direct consultation with stakeholders. If you would like to be consulted, please indicate this in your submission.

Water sharing rules – floodplain harvesting

Submissions relating to water sharing rules for floodplain harvesting should be made through the water resource planning process.

Floodplain harvesting draft entitlements

Following the release of draft floodplain harvesting entitlements (April/May 2019), a submission process for comments will be provided. Submissions should be made if individual floodplain harvesting modelling (to be provided at the same time as draft floodplain harvesting entitlements) does not accurately reflect the variability in diversions from eligible floodplain harvesting works. Submissions should include verifiable evidence to support any claims made. All submissions will be referred to the Healthy Floodplains Review Committee for advice before a final decision is made by the NSW Department of Industry.