Independent peer reviewers
The Department of Planning and Environment engaged reviewers who are recognised nationally and internationally as experts in their respective fields. They were not involved in any activities regarding the modelling and/or implementation of the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy prior to their commencement of the review tasks. It therefore was a truly “independent” review without any preconceptions of departmental influences on the approach or considerations.
The reviewers were appointed based on the following reasons:
- demonstrated capabilities to provide quality, responsive and specialist advice
- specialist experience in water modelling and floodplain harvesting
- technical capabilities for the work
- corporate knowledge and continuation of the work program
- immediate availability to service the needs of the program
- limited supply in the market for specialists (consultants that are independent from the department) with the required knowledge to provide expertise in water modelling and floodplain harvesting
- vetting by the department as part of the contracts and prequalification scheme (maximising savings through negotiated price reductions, enhancing the available product range and increasing supplier contract performance).
In undertaking their review, the reviewers also consulted widely with peers in the Murray–Darling Basin Authority and other Commonwealth agencies in addition to stakeholders from a wide range of interests, such as landholders and water users, plus environmental and natural resource group members. The department is confident that their review represents an independent assessment of the issues associated with implementation of the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy.
Tony Weber is a leading practitioner in the catchment modelling and water quality field in Australia. Prior to joining Alluvium, he worked at BMT WBM for 13 years where he led the water quality discipline across their Australian operations. Tony has over 27 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.
Greg Claydon has extensive water industry and natural resources management knowledge, experience and achievements, built on his roles as a senior executive with Queensland and Western Australia state government water, environment and natural resources agencies. He is recognised at state, national and international levels for his work in water and natural resources reforms.