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Page 1

Protecting Australia’s rivers, wetlands and
estuaries





“…the river and lagoons abound with fish and fowl…”
Explorer John Oxley’s observations of the Lachlan River (Oxley, 1820)



“...nowadays the river has lost its charm. It’s no longer a sweet smelling
place.”

Lance Parker, Hillston commenting on Lachlan River (Roberts and Sainty, 1996)

Page 2

Protecting Australia’s rivers, wetlands and
estuaries of high conservation value

R.T. Kingsford, H. Dunn, D. Love, J. Nevill, J. Stein and J. Tait


ii ii

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Protecting high conservation value rivers, river reaches, wetlands and estuaries

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Discussion paper 46

Page 109

Appendix G Feedback from a national forum

process for implementation (agreed).

15. Australia is a federal system and so funding
should be provided by the Australian
Government with jurisdictions providing
expertise and input data (all governments
provide funding for natural resource
management).

16. Socio-economic values as well as
conservation values need to also be
assessed in the framework (this is not
necessary to establish ecological value but
it is important for management actions).

17. Important that the framework is engaged by
key stakeholders (agreed).

18. Federal–State and regional arrangements
allow for accountability and setting of
standards in relation to protection of high
conservation value rivers (agreed).

19. Need for a communication program that
advertises the main elements and
advantages of the framework (for future
consideration).

20. There is a need to engage key stakeholders
early in the process (agreed).

21. The National Framework could be broken
down into its elements to allow for iterative
discussion and agreement at
interjurisdictional and Australian
Government level (agreed and followed).

22. Consider the model of developing the
process and then allow implementation by
jurisdictions (e.g. National Reserve
System) (agreed and followed).

23. Resourcing will be essential for such a
system to be implemented and major
players to engage (agreed).

24. Important to strengthen existing
partnerships and possibly develop new
partnerships but not new institutions
(agreed and followed).

25. There is a need for strategic decisions on

protection of high conservation value
systems which may be difficult from an
equity standpoint (agreed and could follow
once high conservation value rivers are
identified).

26. Need to develop national standards for
information systems (agreed and followed).

27. Need to develop a national program of
information collection (agreed and
followed).

28. Need to scope investment in National
Reserve System in relation to rivers and
dependent ecosystems (agreed and
followed).

29. Important to sign formal links between
National Water Initiative, water plans and
land use and land planning (agreed and
followed).

30. Need agreement on Australian Government
and State funding arrangements in relation
to protection of high conservation value
rivers (agreed and followed)

31. Timelines need to be developed for
implementation (agreed and could be
considered by interjurisdictional steering
committee).

32. Accountability of Australian Government
and State is important for implementation
of a national framework (agreed and
followed).

33. There is currently sufficient information to
implement a national framework even if it
is fragmented and not easy to access data
(agreed and followed).

34. Need scientific based objective assessment
with community endorsement and support
for whole river basin protection (agreed
and followed).

35. Important to ensure that there is
jurisdictional commitment to accessing all
available databases (agreed and followed).

99

Page 110

Appendix G Feedback from a national forum

36. There is general consensus that Wild
Rivers was not effective in protecting high
conservation value rivers but no analysis of
why it and other attempts have not worked
(this issue is difficult because of the large
scales, inter and intra- jurisdictional
responsibilities and potential impacts on
users. We believed we had sufficient
experience to provide a way forward in
protection of high conservation rivers).

37. There is no explanation of how the national
framework will foster involvement,
understanding and commitment and yet this
is an important element (agreed—this has
been done through recognition of
jurisdictional investments and using
incentives as well as controls for
protection).

38. It would be of value for pilot assessments
to be done with rivers considered to be of
low conservation value and high
conservation value in different regions of
Australia (agreed).

39. Nomination of protected river systems will
be political decisions rather than technical
ones (agreed but we need to allow for
objective analysis of likely candidates).

100

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