Western CMA Benchmark Surveys: Monitoring Community Targets

This project was undertaken by the Western Catchment Management Authority in New South Wales. Information about the Western CMA can be found at www.western.cma.nsw.gov.au. The project was implemented by Environment and Behaviour Consultants (EBC), who were responsible for undertaking the project and reporting on the project findings.

1. What are the objectives of the project?

To manage and improve the natural resources of the Western Catchment, the WCMA has developed a Catchment Plan though consultation with the broader community, including landholders within the region. The Catchment Plan identifies a series of catchment (resource condition) targets and management targets across four natural resource management themes – rivers and groundwater, land and vegetation, biodiversity and community. These targets provide the focus for natural resource management in the region over the next 10 years, and will provide the framework for directing the allocation of future CMA funding.

There are several targets within the Catchment Plan that relate directly to the involvement of landholders and the community in natural resource management. Two of these targets are:

Management Target 1 : Sustainable Agriculture Management practice carried out by 50% of landholders by 2016

Management Target 12 : There is a continual increase in land managers’ awareness, knowledge, and skills in NRM and adoption of practices which improve natural resource outcomes.

The core objective of this project was to develop baseline information through survey research, which wouldl allow progress towards the achievement of both targets to be monitored across time. A second objective of the project was to benchmark the community’s level of awareness and attitudes towards the Western CMA.

The project included telephone surveys of:

  1. All identifiable landholders in the Western CMA region;
  2. 100 urban residents from the towns of Wilcannia, Cobar, Bourke and Brewarrina; and
  3. 40 Government and non-Government stakeholder organisations and groups.

All surveys were undertaken in February to April of 2009.

2. Survey of Landholders

On the basis of interviews with CMA Board members, CMA staff and stakeholders a questionnaire was developed and pre-tested with a sample of 30 landholders. The questionnaire was used in telephone interviews with all identifiable landholders in the region, which included people on rural properties.

A copy of the questionnaire used in the telephone interview with landholders can be downloaded below.

Landholder questionnaire for download (0.23MB)

3. Survey of Urban Residents

This was a small telephone survey which includes a random sample of 100 urban residents drawn from the four towns of (i) Wilcannia, (ii) Cobar, (iii) Bourke and (iv) Brewarrina.

The objective of this survey was to assess awareness of the Western CMA and to identify key NRM issues from the perspective of urban residents.

4. Survey of Stakeholder Organisations

A telephone survey of Government and Non-Government stakeholder organisations was also used to assess the level of awareness of the Western CMA; the extent and quality of interaction and partnerships with the Western CMA; the level of support organisations received in relation to NRM; and the capacity of organisations to implement their NRM objectives.

5. Project Reports

Environment & Behaviour Consultants - 3 Victoria Street - Townsville - 4810 Qld - AUSTRALIA - Tel (61) 07 47 722 544

Design by Adam Robinson