Water Wednesday – ‘Making consultation more effective’

Making consultation more effective will be the subject of a free public forum at the University of Adelaide this Wednesday, 13 April.

Hosted by the Water Research Centre, the ‘Water Wednesday’ forum will focus on improving community and industry engagement in natural resources management.

Water Research Centre Director Associate Professor Justin Brookes says there are concerns that community engagement needs to be more effective in order to support key reforms in water management.

“We need to ensure that the story of good science is told well and that data is accessible to the communities and stakeholders who will be affected by recommended reforms,” says Associate Professor Brookes.

“The process of consulting with community and interest groups needs to be just as well researched and advanced as the evolving science designed to support management decisions.”

Guest presenters at the forum will include:

• Ms Ann Shaw-Rungie, private consultant specialising in facilitation and community engagement

• Assoc Prof David Paton, School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide

• Ms Ruchira Talukdar, Healthy Ecosystems Campaigner, Australian Conservation Foundation.

Speakers will give examples and suggestions on how to build community and industry support for sustainable resource management and to undertake necessary reforms such as in water management. The forum will explore the way that communication is changing, with social media and networks, and more sophisticated technologies for more immediate social connections.

Assoc Prof Brookes said, “The recent stormy process of consultation for the Guide to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan discredited the good science underpinning the Plan, and has undermined and delayed the consultation process for critical water reforms.”

“This Water Wednesday forum aims to present examples of effective engagement, and to draw conclusions about how to learn from these experiences to assist the water reform process through better engagement with community groups and stakeholders.”

WHERE: Napier 102 Lecture Theatre, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide

WHEN: 5.30pm-6.45pm, Wednesday 13 April

COST: Free, but bookings essential. BOOK HERE

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