Independent peer reviews of the Policy and independent modelling reports

A peer review is a common method to evaluate scientific outcomes. It’s a process where scientists and experts (peers) evaluate the quality of other experts’ work. Peer reviews provide an independent assessment of the work to ensure it rigorous, coherent, uses past research and experience to ensure the best outcomes for all stakeholders are achieved.

Independent peer review of the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy

NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment–Water together with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), commissioned an independent peer review of implementation of the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy (the policy) in northern NSW.

The key aim of the review was to provide transparency and give confidence to stakeholders that the technical information and processes used would support policy implementation.

The independent reviewers were engaged in 2018 to assess the policy and the modelling undertaken. The Floodplain Harvesting Independent Review PDF, 1419.81 KB provided recommendations for improvement, including 16 key recommendations and 48 other recommendations that follow five key themes.

Key recommendations

  1. improving documentation and transparency of modelling to demonstrate that the models make use of the best available information and are fit for purpose
  2. expanding consultation to inform stakeholders and the community about the information used in the models and how models are used to determine licence volumes
  3. undertaking further assessment and communication on the anticipated downstream benefits of the licensing framework
  4. developing an adaptive management framework that allows for ongoing improvement
  5. implementing an effective and efficient monitoring framework.

The department has accepted these recommendations in full and responded to them in the Floodplain Harvesting Action Plan (PDF, 421.67 KB). The Action Plan details how we will implement the recommendations of the independent review and reinforces key priorities in the delivery and implementation of the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy.

Read the:

Independent peer review of modelling reports

Modelling of extraction limits and current diversions

Following their review into the implementation of the NSW Floodplain Harvesting Policy, the reviewers have continued to work with the department to review key modelling reports and other activities against their review recommendations.

Read the valley modelling peer review reports:

Landholder farm-scale validation - the modelling submission process

Additional reviews were conducted to assess landholder submissions received as part of the farm-scale validation process which itself was instigated as an outcome of the independent review into floodplain harvesting policy implementation.

Read the valley modelling peer review reports: