Southern Rivers CMA Benchmarking Survey: Community and Stakeholder Beliefs About Natural Resource Management

This project is being undertaken by the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority in NSW. Information about the Southern Rivers CMA can be found at The project is being implemented by Environment and Behaviour Consultants (EBC), who are responsible for undertaking the project and reporting on the project findings.

What are the objectives of the project?

The main objective of the project is to benchmark the existing level of community attitudes, awareness and involvement in natural resource management in the Southern Rivers region. At a later date the project may be repeated and any changes in community attitudes, awareness and involvement will be assessed again. By monitoring these changes over time the Southern Rivers CMA can better develop its programs and activities to improve the natural resource and environmental conditions in the region.

The project includes:

  1. A telephone survey of 2,040 landholders in the Southern Rivers region;
  2. A survey of Aboriginal people and organisations in the Southern Rivers region;
  3. A survey of stakeholder organisations and groups within the region; and
  4. A survey of all staff and Board members of the Southern Rivers CMA.

Survey of Landholders

On the basis of workshops with CMA staff, stakeholders and members of the community, a questionnaire has been developed and pre-tested with a sample of 20 landholders. The questionnaire is to be used in telephone interviews with 2,040 landholders in the region, which will include people on rural properties and farms. The telephone interview takes about 20 minutes to complete and names and addresses of those completing the interview are not required or collected.

Landholders selected for the survey will be contacted in the evenings and on weekends. The selection of households is completely random. For example, one random telephone number may be selected as the starting point (6452 1069) and another as the end point (6452 7952). Every second phone number between the starting and ending numbers would be contacted. In order to complete 2,040 interviews, there would of course be many start and end points used.

A copy of the questionnaire used in the telephone interview with landholders can be downloaded below. You may wish to complete this questionnaire and submit it to by email to

Landholder Questionnaire for download

Survey of Aboriginal People

The survey of Aboriginal people in the Southern Rivers region focuses on the engagement of Aboriginal people in caring for Country; Aboriginal peoples' relationship with Country and beliefs about the health of Country.

The survey is being distributed and administered by four Aboriginal Catchment and Community Support Officers in the CMA. If you would like to participate in the survey please contact one of the support officers in a town closest to you. The support officers include:

Bateman's Bay:Bob Slockee Phone: 44751007; email:
Bega: Les Kosez Phone: 64918222; email:
Nowra: Stan Braddick Phone 44294451; email:
Wollongong: Ken Davies Phone: 42249714;

Survey of Stakeholder Organisations

The survey of stakeholder organisations, will assess the level of awareness of the Southern Rivers CMA, the extent and quality of interaction and partnerships with the SRCMA, the level of support organisations receive in relation to NRM; and the capacity of organisations to implement their NRM objectives.

The Southern Rivers CMA has identified 100 stakeholder organisations and Landcare groups to be included in the survey. A letter will be forwarded to these organisations asking for their participation in a telephone interview to be conducted in early 2008.

If you are a stakeholder organisations that would like to participate in the survey please email to determine your eligibility to participate and to organize a telephone interview.

How is the information to be presented?

Four reports will be developed for this project

  1. Main Project Report
  2. This report will describe the project objectives, methodology, analysis and findings. The report will include tables showing the analysis of data by sub region and specific groups. Where appropriate graphics would be used to describe and illustrate the data. Although comparisons across the six sub regions in the Southern Rivers would be undertaken, other analyses may also be appropriate depending on the data being analysed. For example, this may include comparisons between different types of stakeholder organisations, between long and short term residents of the region or comparisons amongst older and younger survey participants.

  3. Regional Social Atlas
  4. The second report would consist of a regional atlas of the survey findings of landholders. Without identifying specific locations, the atlas would show the general distribution of survey results across the region. The atlas would be able to describe the distribution of natural resource management issues across the region. For example, are weeds more of an issue amongst landholders in the north or the south of the region? Are there specific areas where landholders believe pest animals are of concern? Where do landholders believe poor soil condition is an issue?

    An example of a project report and social atlas based on a survey of landholders can be found here

  5. Metadata Report
  6. As this is a benchmarking study, it is important that the methodology for data collection and the description of the data is documented in sufficient detail so as to enable the project to be repeated at some time in the future. The data collected in the survey of the community and stakeholder organisations would be held by the Southern Rivers CMA so that it can be compared with data collected at a time in the future. As indicated previously, no information will be stored which allows individuals or organisations to be identified.

Project Reports

  1. Southern Rivers CMA: Benchmarking Landholder Beliefs about NRM [3.82mb]
  2. Southern Rivers CMA: Social Atlas NRM Benchmarking Survey [5.52mb]
  3. Southern Rivers CMA: Stakeholder Organisations Benchmarking Survey [0.58mb]
  4. Southern Rivers CMA: Landcare Benchmarking Survey [0.45mb]
  5. Southern Rivers CMA: Caring for Country Benchmarking Survey [0.59mb]
  6. Southern Rivers CMA: Staff and Board Member Benchmarking Survey [1.41mb]
Environment & Behaviour Consultants - 3 Victoria Street - Townsville - 4810 Qld - AUSTRALIA - Tel (61) 07 47 722 544

Design by Adam Robinson