Stakeholder views: assets and threats to the tropical rivers of the Flinders River catchment, Queensland

2006

Interim workshop report, Richmond, Tuesday 6 June, 2006

Tropical Rivers Inventory and Assessment Project
Lands & Water Australia, June 2006

Introduction

The Tropical Rivers Inventory and Assessment Project (TRIAP) Flinders River catchment community consultation workshop was held in Richmond on Tuesday 6 June, 2006. The workshop was organised by the National Centre for Tropical Wetland Research (NCTWR), which is undertaking the TRIAP, and facilitated by ACTFR. The TRIAP is funded under Land & Water Australia's Tropical Rivers Program.

The TRIAP is examining the ecological assets and threats to Australia’s tropical rivers in terms of risk assessment. The Flinders River catchment is one of the project's 'focus catchments' and as such, is being analysed in as much detail as possible.

One of the first steps in the risk assessment project is to document the assets and threats in the Flinders River catchment. We have collected some information from existing reports and workshops held previously. Appendix 1 provides a list of reports and workshops referenced to date. It is important we get the views of people who live and work in the catchment on these aspects, so that the project produces meaningful results and relevant outputs.

The major aim of the workshop was to agree on the key ecological assets and threats to the aquatic ecosystems of the Flinders River catchment and to prioritise assets and threats to be examined within the TRIAP. An information sheet (see Appendix 2) and flyer about the workshop was distributed to stakeholders who then passed it on to people they thought may be interested in attending.

Twelve people attended the workshop (see Appendix 3 for a list of workshop participants). They included graziers, land owners, business proprietors and one Queensland Government stakeholder. The workshop included brief PowerPoint presentations with discussion from the participants. The original workshop format was altered to allow for the stakeholders to be engaged in a meaningful and inclusive manner.

Stakeholder representation was an issue influencing the information elicited during the workshop. Although many government stakeholders were invited, only one attended. Distribution of flyers were sent to many stakeholders in the region (see Appendix 4). Compounding the bias in stakeholder participation is geographic representation. The majority of attendees came from the Mitchell Grass Downs region within the catchment. The workshop was framed in an ecological risk assessment context, however due to the composition of stakeholders, assets and management issues were loosely related to ecological aspects though economic drivers. This report is a record of the consultation and is not a definitive report on the ecological assets and threats for the Flinders River catchment.

Ecological risk assessment frameworks refer to ecological assets, pressures and threats. Stakeholders at the Richmond workshop expressed that the terms 'pressure' and 'threat' encouraged a pre-determined answer and suggested that the term 'management issue' should be used in their place. Therefore this report refers to pressures and threats as 'management issues' when reporting on stakeholder views.

This report includes:

  • A summary of what is risk assessment and conceptual models as presented at the workshop
  • A summary of the ecological assets collected from other reports and the assets discussed at the workshop
  • A summary of the management issues collected from other reports and the management issues discussed at the workshop