Finding Diamonds in the Dust: Community Engagement in Murray-Darling Basin Planning
Effective community engagement is an essential component of any water resources reform process. This chapter reviews the community engagement process adopted by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) during the 4-year period leading up to the successful adoption of the Basin Plan in 2012. This period is divided into two periods: Phase 1 (2009–2010), a period of considerable conflict, which followed the release of the Guide to the Basin Plan, and Phase 2 (2011–2012), a period when new leadership of the MDBA radically changed the engagement process and successfully completed the Basin Plan. This review, together with a review of the literature, has allowed identification of the key elements that underpin an effective community engagement process. These include engaging in places where people are on familiar territory and in places that people care about, taking the time to listen and share information, accepting that compromises will need to be made, seriously organizing and planning the process and showing leadership in settings. Perspectives of engagement need to be blended to provide a model with an emphasis on ongoing multiway communication and relationship building.
Decision Making in Water Resources Policy and Management
Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified