Investigating cost-sharing arrangements for riparian works

The sharing of costs between Victoria’s waterway managers* and landholders for riparian works is a complex issue, as the Natural Decisions team uncovered in a recent project commissioned by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

The investigation sought to understand the arrangements and funding rules used by the waterway managers to undertake works such as stock management fencing, revegetation, weed management and the provision of infrastructure to support off-stream stock watering.

The team completed a comprehensive investigation involving nine Catchment Management Authorities and Melbourne Water through a process of literature review, survey, interviews and analysis.

The investigation revealed that a diversity of approaches are used by waterway managers to allocate funds and to share the costs of works with landholders. Whilst cost sharing approaches have become more sophisticated over time in response to policy development, for instance an awareness of variation in public benefits associated with different sites and works, they have also become more complex. Factors contributing to the complexity of approaches used by waterway managers include the ability to secure landholder participation, focusing on funding works in priority waterways and the role of the delivery approach in ensuring long term outcomes are achieved.

For the participating waterway managers understanding the approaches used by other organisations was seen as a particularly important outcome of the project.

The recommendations from the investigation are focussed on achieving efficient allocation of funds and the best possible on-ground outcomes for waterway health. This can be achieved by refining current approaches to enable selection and funding projects based on value for money, a consistent and robust assessment of public benefits, with consideration to factors such as who does the initial on-ground works, landholder contributions, and whether a landholder is genuinely committed to the project and likely to undertake the long term management of the riparian works.

For more details on the project please contact DELWP project manager Peter Vollebergh or Natural Decisions project manager Michelle Dickson For a copy of the report, please contact Peter.

* This includes Catchment Management Authorities and Melbourne Water for the purposes of this project.

Waterway restoration works in the Bet Bet catchment, near Lexton in central Victoria.

Riparian works in the Bet Bet catchment, near Lexton in central Victoria.


Posted 25 November 2015 in News