All News

2017 News

Commenced audits of Local Land Services
16-Oct-2017

The Commission has commenced planning for audits of Local Land Services' activities. The Commission has updated its r..

Commenced evaluation of Catchment Action NSW
13-Oct-2017

The Commission has commenced an end-of-program evaluation of Catchment Action NSW. This evaluation will provide assurance..

Commenced reviews of water sharing plans
16-Oct-2017

The Commission has commenced review of the Water Sharing Plan for the NSW Border Rivers Regulated River Water Source 2009..

Completed evaluation of Environmental Trust's program
10-Oct-2017

The Commission provided its final report on the evaluation of the Environmental Trust’s Restoration and Rehabilitation Pr..

Government response to the Commission's review of pest animal management
01-Jun-2017

Click here to view the final report and Government response (http://www.nrc.nsw.gov.au/reports/pest-animal-report) Th..

13 Apr Call for submissions for water sharing plan reviews
The Commission is reviewing the Water Sharing Plan for the Border Rivers Regulated River Water Source. This review is occurring in parallel with DPI Water's water resource development plan process. DPI Water and the Commission are jointly calling for submissions to inform their respective processes. Submissions can be provided until Friday, 26 May 2017. Read more

14 Mar A systematic review of ground-based shooting for pest animal control
As part of the Commission's three year evaluation of the supplementary pest control trial, the Commission engaged the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre to conduct a review of ground-based shooting as a pest animal control technique. The review revealed that ground shooting can make important contributions to the management of pests but shooting alone is often insufficient or prohibitively inefficient to achieve desired outcomes. Read more

8 Mar Final report on supplementary pest control trial submitted to Government
On 27 February 2017, the Commission submitted its final report on the supplementary pest control trial to the Premier of NSW, and the Minister for the Environment, Local Government and Heritage. After receiving a response from the Government, the Commission will make the report publicly available on this website. The Commission thanks all those who participated in the review, and provided valuable feedback and insights that informed final recommendations. Read more

7 Mar Advice on review of Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval
The Premier asked the Commission to review outstanding settings for the proposed new Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA), and provide in-confidence advice on the extent to which the proposed IFOA settings would, or would not, deliver the Government’s commitments. The Commission has provided its advice to Government. Read more

7 Mar Advice on review of Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval
The Premier asked the Commission to review outstanding settings for the proposed new Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA), and provide in-confidence advice on the extent to which the proposed IFOA settings would, or would not, deliver the Government’s commitments. The Commission has provided its advice to Government. Read more

14 Feb Landcare baseline study
The Commission released its Landcare baseline study final report today. The report provides a breakdown of Local Land Services’ expenditure on Landcare and community groups in the 2014-15 financial year. It also provides a baseline for Local Land Services’ funding of these groups prior to the start of the Local Landcare Coordinators’ Initiative. Read more

2016 News

20 Dec Audits of Local Land Services' governance and communications
The Commission released its audit reports on Local Land Services’ governance and communications today. The reports provide the results and recommendations from each audit. The release of reports coincides with the NSW Government’s response to the Commission’s audit recommendations. The NSW Government supports all of the Commission’s recommendations. Read more

23 Nov Cost of pest animals in NSW
As part of the Commission's 2016 Pest Animal Review, the Commission engaged Dr Ross McLeod to update the two most recent and comprehensive national studies into the economic costs of pest animals which were conducted by McLeod (2004) and Gong et al. (2009). This updated work revealed that the impacts from rabbits, wild dogs, pigs, introduced birds, foxes, carp and feral goats cost the NSW economy at least $170 million per annum. Read more

9 Dec Brian Gilligan appointed to the Commission
Brian Gilligan has been appointed as Acting Commissioner to the Natural Resources Commission. He has 40 years’ experience in education and environment protection in the public sector, including serving as the Director General of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service after a period as Executive Director Operations with the Environment Protection Authority. Read more

7 Nov Commission asked to review Coastal IFOA
The Premier has asked the Commission to review outstanding settings for the proposed new Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval, and provide in-confidence advice on the extent to which the proposed IFOA settings would, or would not, deliver the Government’s commitments. Read more

16 Aug Final report on pest animal management submitted to Government
The Commission submitted the final report on the state-wide review of pest animal management, Shared Problem, Shared Solutions, to the Premier of NSW on 5 August 2016. Once the NSW Government has provided its response, the final report will be made publicly available on the Commission’s website. The Commission thanks all those who participated in the review, providing valuable feedback and insights that informed the final recommendations. Read more

29 Jul Establishing baseline of Local Land Services’ expenditure on Landcare
The Commission is conducting a baseline study to determine Local Land Services’ expenditure on Landcare and community groups in 2014-15. This study forms part of the monitoring and evaluation component of the Local Landcare Coordinators’ Initiative. Read more

13 Jul Government supports Commission’s advice to replace seven water sharing plans
The Commission received feedback from the Minister for Lands and Water supporting the recommendation to replace seven water sharing plans approaching expiry. The Commission submitted its review report to Government in April 2016. Read more about the review of water sharing plans.

24 Jun Over 400 submissions received on pest animal review
The Commission received over 400 submissions on the draft report which are now available on the pest animal review page. The Commission is now considering the submissions and finalising its report. Read more about the pest animal review.

20 Jun Audits of Local Land Services
The Commission has completed its audits of governance and communications of Local Land Services and submitted its final reports to Government. Read more about the audits.

20 Jun Review of seven water sharing plans submitted to Government
The Commission has submitted to Government its report on the review of six inland alluvial aquifer plans and one coastal water sharing plan. Read more about the final report.

11 Jun Review of Catchment Action NSW funding to Local Land Services
The Office of Environment and Heritage appointed the Commission to carry out a mid-term review of Local Land Services’ delivery of Catchment Action NSW funding in 2014-15. The Commission has now finalised its report. Read more about the report.

19 May Submissions for the pest animal review now close on 30 May
The Commission will be receiving late submissions on the draft report until 30 May 2016. In particular, the Commission seeks feedback on your reasons for support or non-support of the draft recommendations. If you are unable to provide submission, using our online submissions form, you can provide submission via email, fax or mail. Read more about the draft report.

27 Apr Progress with audits of Local Land Services performance
In June 2015, the Minister endorsed the Commission’s two-year audit plan for Local Land Services, and requested the Commission complete two priority audits of governance and communications. The Commission has completed its audit of Local Land Services' governance in October 2015 and submitted the final audit report to the Minister. The communications audit is due for completion in May 2016. Read more...

21 Apr RSVP to a public meeting on pest animal review
Join the Commission at a public meeting to have your say on the draft report on pest animal management in NSW – Shared Problem, Shared Solutions. Meetings will be held from 10:30am to 12:30pm at Grafton (27 April), Tamworth (29 April), Nowra (3 May), Orange (6 May), Deniliquin (11 May), Sydney (13 May) and Bourke (17 May). You can RSVP here. Read more about the draft report and public meetings.

4 Apr Early positive results from trialling volunteer pest control in national parks
The Commission has released an interim report to evaluate the supplementary pest control trial program. The report finds that the trial program is building significant positive relationships among volunteers, neighbours, Aboriginal groups, and National Parks and Wildlife Service staff. Read more...

31 Mar Pest animal draft report calls for major reform
The Commission has released a draft report; Shared Problem, Shared Solutions, following an extensive consultation with landholders and relevant community, industry, and environment groups. The draft report is in response to a request from the Premier of NSW to undertake an independent, state-wide review of pest animal management in NSW. Read more about the draft report, media release and the supporting fact sheets.

27 Jan Consultation for review of water sharing plans completed - report coming soon
The Commission has completed consultation for the review of six inland alluvial aquifer plans and one coastal water sharing plan. The Commission is now reviewing the submissions to inform its advice to the Minister. Read more

19 Jan Review of the Natural Resources Commission Act
The Department of Premier and Cabinet is currently reviewing the Natural Resources Commission Act 2003. The Department has prepared an issues paper for public consideration and comment. Submissions closed on 15 February 2016. For more information, please visit the Department of Premier and Cabinet website.

2015 News

15 Oct Issues paper on review of pest animal management
The Natural Resources Commission has released an issues paper exploring opportunities for reform of pest animal management in NSW. In September 2015, the Premier of NSW asked the Commission to review the management of pest animals in NSW across all tenures for environmental, economic and social benefits. The review will identify opportunities for improving arrangements for pest animal management in NSW.

02 Sep Minister announces Local Landcare Coordinators Initiative
NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Lands and Water Niall Blair has today announced details of the $15 million NSW Local Landcare Coordinators Initiative, which will unlock the full potential of Landcare volunteers across the state.

02 Sep Evaluation of Roadside Vegetation Implementation Project
The Natural Resources Commission and the Office of Water are reviewing seven water sharing plans in 2015. The Commission’s review will inform the Minister on the extent of water sharing plans’ contribution to the state priorities for Local Land Services that relate to natural resource management (as defined in the Local Land Services Act 2013), and whether changes to water sharing plan provisions are warranted.

20 Aug Review of water sharing plans
The Natural Resources Commission provided advice to the Environmental Trust in December 2014 in the form of two reports, an evaluation of Stages 1 and 2 of the Roadside Vegetation Implementation Project, and a report with advice for investment priorities for a possible third stage of the Project. The Trust has considered the Commission’s advice and has accepted or partially accepted all of the recommendations.

15 Jun Conducting performance audits of Local Land Services
The Minister has endorsed the Natural Resources Commission’s two-year audit plan for Local Land Services, and requested the Commission complete two priority audits of governance and communications. The Commission has commenced its governance audit of Local Land Services.

03 Mar Introducing audits of Local Land Services performance
The Natural Resources Commission released a brochure introducing its independent audits of Local Land Services performance. The Commission's audits provide assurance for decision-makers and add value to the Local Land Services business. During March and April 2015, the Commission will be consulting with Local Land Services, investors and stakeholders. Their feedback will be used to inform the audit plan for the next two years.

2014 News

12 Dec Advice on funding allocation to Local Land Services
The Natural Resources Commission has advised Local Land Services on the allocation of Catchment Action NSW funds between Local Land Services regions for 2015-16 and 2016-17. Catchment Action NSW is the NSW Government’s regionally-delivered project funding to address state natural resource management priorities.

13 Nov Annual Report 2013-14 tabled in Parliament
On 12 November 2014, the Natural Resources Commission's Annual Report 2013-14 was tabled in the Parliament.

10 Nov Draft Performance Standard for Local Land Services
In November 2014, the Natural Resources Commission released the final draft of the Performance Standard for Local Land Services. Before that in September 2014, the Commission released the Draft Standard (Version 0.3). Comments on the Draft Standard were received until 10 October 2014. The Commission considered all comments in finalising the Standard.

7 Oct Evaluation framework for supplementary pest control
In August 2014, the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) released an overview of the evaluation framework as a part of its role to evaluate the supplementary pest control trial program. The overview document provides the scope and objectives of the evaluation, how the evaluation will be conducted, and the evaluation milestones and deliverables.

23 Jun Final report on review of weed management
In May 2014, the Natural Resources Commission submitted a final report to the Minister for Primary Industries detailing recommendations and findings for its review of weed management in NSW. The NSW Government has formally responded to the recommendations and details are available on the Department of Primary Industries website.

16 Jun Draft report on management of cypress forests in Brigalow and Nandewar
The Natural Resources Commission submitted a draft report (including a supporting profile and map book) to Government that outlines findings and recommendations of its review of cypress management in the Brigalow and Nandewar State Conservation Areas.

15 Apr Brochure on healthy resilient landscapes
The Natural Resources Commission (NRC) released a brochure Healthy Resilient Landscapes that explains natural resource management and the role of the NRC.

17 Feb Draft report on review of weed management
The Natural Resources Commission released a draft report that outlines findings and recommendations for its review of weed management in NSW.

2013 News

15 Nov Review of cypress management in the Brigalow and Nandewar State Conservation Areas
The Natural Resources Commission released a paper providing working definition of key concepts in the Terms of Reference for this review.

25 Oct Issues paper on the review of weed management in NSW
The Natural Resources Commission has released an issues paper to clarify priority issues, seek stakeholder and community views about barriers and opportunities, and identify relevant evidence to inform the review.

18 Oct Advice on allocation of Catchment Action NSW funding to Local Land Services
The Natural Resources Commission has provided its report in September 2013, recommending that the Minister adopt the NRC’s recommended funding profile for the pool of $56 million of Catchment Action NSW funding to Local Land Services for 2014-16.

01 Oct Supplementary pest control
Environment Minister Robyn Parker has announced a three year scientific trial using skilled volunteers to boost pest animal control efforts in 12 national parks and reserves in western NSW. The Natural Resources Commission (NRC) is working with the Office of Environment and Heritage to develop the monitoring and evaluation program for the trial. The NRC will also independently review the outcomes of the program over the three years to 2016 to determine whether the trial was successful and if it should be expanded across NSW.

27 Sep Review of 2004 water sharing plans
The Natural Resources Commission has reviewed the 2004 water sharing plans and provided final report to the Minister in June 2013. The Minister has now made a decision about the replacement or extension of the 2004 water sharing plans.

30 Aug Minister announces listing of Yellow Mimosa as a feral native species
The Minister for the Environment announced that Yellow Mimosa has been listed as a feral native plant species under native vegetation regulations. This decision is based on the Natural Resources Commission's recommendations.

23 Aug Catchment action plans assessed and approved
The Minister for Primary Industries has accepted the Natural Resources Commission's recommendations and approved the catchment action plans for Murray, Hawkesbury-Nepean, Lachlan, Western, Border Rivers-Gwydir, Hunter-Central Rivers, Northern Rivers, Murrumbidgee and Southern Rivers regions.

16 Aug Better practice guide for adapting catchment action plans
The Natural Resources Commission has prepared a Better Practice Guide to assist CMAs in adapting their catchment action plans to fit Local Land Services boundaries, as the CMAs transition into Local Land Services.

28 Jun Natural Resource Management Roundtable
In June 2013, the Natural Resources Commission held a Natural Resource Management Roundtable to reflect on progress achieved by regional natural resource management over the last 10 years and explore priorities for natural resource management in future.

21 Jun Review of water sharing plans
The Natural Resources Commission provided final advice on the review of 2004 water sharing plans to the Minister. This advice is under consideration by the Minister and will be made public following the Minister’s decision on whether to extend or replace the plans.

14 Jun Assessment of four upgraded catchment action plans
The Natural Resources Commission completed the assessment of Hawkesbury-Nepean, Lachlan, Murray and Western Catchment Action Plans, and recommended to the Minister for Primary Industries that these plans be approved. In addition, we also advised Government on lessons learned from assessing catchment action plans to help Local Land Services develop strategic plans that integrate their functions.

07 Jun Advice on funding allocation to CMAs
In response to a Ministerial request, the Natural Resources Commission has recommended a funding profile for allocating Catchment Action NSW funding to catchment management authorities for 2013-14.

31 May Advice on listing of Yellow Mimosa as a feral native species
In response to a ministerial request, the Natural Resources Commission provided its final report to the Minister for the Environment recommending that Yellow Mimosa be listed as a feral native species in the Border Rivers-Gwydir, Namoi and Central West Catchment Management Authorities regions, as well as across all of NSW.

26 Apr Assessment of five upgraded catchment action plans
The Natural Resources Commission completed the assessment of Border Rivers-Gwydir, Hunter-Central Rivers, Murrumbidgee, Northern Rivers and Southern Rivers Catchment Action Plans, and recommended to the Minister for Primary Industries that these plans be approved.

2012 News

03 Oct Audit of Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority
The NRC completed a repeat audit of Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority’s (CMA’s) implementation of its region's catchment action plan to assess the CMA's progress in improving its performance and effectiveness since the first audit in 2009.

17 Sep Advice on cloud seeding trial
The NRC reviewed the Snowy Precipitation Enhancement Research Project (SPERP) Annual Report 2011 and provided advice to the Ministers.

07 Sep Audit of Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Management Authority
The NRC released its report on the repeat audit of the effectiveness of the implementation of Border Rivers-Gwydir Catchment Action Plan. The CMA demonstrated significant improvement since its 2009 audit by implementing most of the suggested actions.

26 Jul Central West and Namoi Upgraded Catchment Action Plans
The NSW Government has approved the Central West and Namoi Upgraded Catchment Action Plans based on the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) review and recommendations.These regions are the first regions to upgrade their catchment action plans. These plans were developed through a pilot process that allowed the CMAs, agencies and the NRC to trial new ways of achieving better regional planning in NSW. In its NSW 2021 plan, the Government has committed to developing upgraded catchment action plans across the state by March 2013.

21 Mar Audit of Lower Murray Darling Catchment Management Authority
The NRC released its report on the repeat audit of effectiveness of the implementation of Lower Murray Darling Catchment Action Plan. The audit was conducted in November 2011. In the first round, we conducted audits of all 13 catchment management authorities (CMAs) where four CMAs demonstrated a fair level of effectiveness in implementing their region's catchment action plans. So far, we have conducted repeat audits of two of these four CMAs.

2011 News

12 Dec New Commissioner for natural resources
Dr John Keniry has joined the NRC as its new Commissioner. He was awarded an Order of Australia in 2005 and a Centenary Medal in 2003. He also chairs the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, the Cooperative Research Centres for the Pork and Sheep industries and the Australian Wool Exchange. He is a member of the NSW Environment Protection Authority Board. See Commissioners and Executives profile for more details.

04 Nov NRC submission to the NSW planning system review
The NRC submission focused on the operation of the State Environmental Planning Policy No. 71—Coastal Protection, but also covered other issues relevant to the overall alignment between natural resource management and statutory land use planning.

02 Sep Updated framework for assessing and recommending upgraded catchment action plans
The NRC released a framework for assessing and recommending upgraded catchment action plans v1.1.

31 May Framework for assessing and recommending upgraded catchment action plans
The NRC released a framework for assessing and recommending upgraded catchment action plans. The framework sets expectations so that all 13 catchment management authorities (CMAs) and their partners can upgrade their catchment action plans in a regionally-appropriate way, confident in the framework that will be used for assessment. The framework was developed through a pilot process in which Central West and Namoi CMAs developed draft upgraded catchment action plans for their regions and the NRC conducted a trial assessment of these catchment action plans.

21 Apr New brochure - Resilient landscapes and communities
The NRC released a brochure titled Resilient Landscapes and Communities that explains the role of the Standard, catchment action plans, targets and audits in managing natural resources in NSW.

03 Mar Advice on proposed amendments to streamline assessment process for clearing native vegetation
In February 2011, the NRC provided advice to Government on proposed amendments to Chapter 8 of the Assessment Methodology. Our report provides details of recommendations, our review of proposed amendments and the challenges of consulting on practical amendments. The Minister for Climate Change and the Environment considered the NRC advice and amended the original proposals to address the key concerns raised.

19 Jan Alignment of water planning and catchment planning
The National Water Commission has released a report on alignment of water planning and catchment planning. This report is the final output of the Integration of Water Planning and Catchment Planning (NSW) project—the NRC is on the steering committee of this project. The project sets out principles for aligning water allocation and catchment plans. A framework was developed and then trialled in the Hunter region of NSW.

2010 News

24 Dec Proposed amendments to streamline assessment process for clearing native vegetation 
On 22 December 2010, the Minister for Climate Change and the Environment sought independent advice from the NRC by 4 February 2011 on proposed amendments to the Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology (Assessment Methodology). The proposed amendments are intended to streamline the assessment procedure for clearing native vegetation and reduce processing times for Property Vegetation Plans. The proposed amendments consist of a proposed new Chapter 8 in the Assessment Methodology and consequential administrative amendments to the existing Chapter 2. Submissions to the NRC on the proposed amendments are welcome until 22 January 2011.

23 Dec Audit report - Murray 
The NRC has released its report on the second audit of the implementation of Murray Catchment Action Plan.

14 Dec 2010 report on progress towards healthy resilient landscapes 
A comprehensive review of the pioneering steps taken by NSW in 2003 to reform natural resource management clearly shows the model is delivering results. The review concluded that the NSW model for natural resource management is achieving significant success in supporting private landholders to more sustainably manage their land for their own and everyone else's long term benefit. However, it is too early, given the extent of historical landscape degradation, to see whether these local successes are adding up to a state-wide improvement in the health of NSW water, land, biodiversity and communities.

23 Nov Review of Catchment Action NSW funding allocation 
The NRC has provided its final report Review of Catchment Action NSW Funding Allocation to Catchment Management Authorities to the NSW Government. For the past three years Catchment Action NSW investment funds have been allocated using a six-stage decision process, which includes a multi-criteria analysis decision support tool. Through a Terms of Reference, the NSW Government asked the NRC to recommend improvements to this process, and to recommend how the pool of Catchment Action NSW funding is to be allocated between the 13 catchment management authorities in 2011–12 and 2012–13. This report explains the NRC's recommended improvements for the decision-making process. It explains the rationale for and issues involved in making the proposed changes, including the resultant funding profiles if they are implemented.

28 Oct Report on mid-term review of the Snowy Mountains cloud seeding trial 
The NRC has provided to the Government its mid-term review of the Snowy Mountains cloud seeding trial covering the period 2004 to 2009. The review was based on Snowy Hydro's 2009 Snowy Precipitation Enhancement Research Project Annual Report. The key findings of the review are that: the trial is being conducted in compliance with the Act; the trial is not having any adverse environmental impacts, including adverse impacts on rainfall in down-wind areas; and there is evidence that cloud seeding has increased snowfall in the target area, under defined weather and operating conditions.

18 Oct Commissioner speaks at the AEF conference 
Dr John Williams, Commissioner, spoke at the Australian Environment Foundation's 2010 Annual Conference in Brisbane. His presentation looked at whether policy change can save the environment. In addition, he provided a paper discussing cause and effect of native vegetation in NSW.

09 Aug Commissioner speaks at the Aapresid Congress in Argentina 
Dr John Williams, Commissioner, was the keynote speaker at the 18th Aapresid Congress, Rosario, Argentina. Dr Williams talked about agriculture, water and catchment management in Australia and how it relates to Argentina. In addition, he gave a presentation to government officials on hydrology and water scarcity in the Murray Darling Basin.

30 Jun Commissioner's keynote addresses 
Dr John Williams, Commissioner, was the keynote speaker at the Urban Salt 2010 Conference, and at the ATSE International Workshop Series. At the Urban Salt 2010 Conference, Dr Williams talked about the challenges in dealing with urban salinity, and at the ATSE Workshop, he addressed water resource trade-offs between bulk users, urban consumption and the environment.

07 Jun Assessment report - South-western cypress state forests 
The NRC has provided to the NSW Government its assessment report on sustainable management of the south-western cypress state forests. The report makes 10 recommendations for ongoing management of these forests as part of the broader landscape.

08 Mar Advice on proposed amendments to Chapter 7 of the Assessment Methodology 
On 15 February 2010, the NRC provided advice to the Minister for Climate Change and the Environment on proposed amendments to Chapter 7 (Invasive Native Scrub Assessment) of the Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology. The NRC recommended that the Minister adopt all of the proposed amendments with minor changes to clearing types.

28 Feb Summary of available information and call for submissions on south-western cypress state forests 
The NRC has released a summary of available information and call for submissions on the south-western cypress state forests. The purpose of this document is to seek submissions from stakeholders on any further information and insights that can contribute to the NRC's assessment. The report also explains how the NRC will assess these forests, and summarises the key issues and information sources currently available to complete the assessment.

25 Feb Commissioner's presentation 
Dr John Williams, Commissioner, was the chairperson at the 2nd Annual Water Leaders Congress 2010. In his paper - Can We Secure Our Food Whilst Maintaining Our Environment? - Dr Williams addressed the urgent need to give priority attention to food production whilst maintaining the quality of the resource base from which it is produced.

2009 News

21 Dec Final assessment report on river red gum forests 
The NRC has provided to the Government its final assessment report and the recommendations report on the future of red gum forests in the Riverina bioregion. The final assessment report: draws together the best available science and knowledge on the river red gum and woodland forests of the Riverina bioregion; outlines what we know about the values of the forests and their current management; and draws out the key issues to underpin recommendations to the Government on their future management.

11 Dec Audits of six more catchment action plans 
With the completion of six audits in November 2009 (Lachlan, Murrumbidgee, Namoi, Northern Rivers, Southern Rivers and Sydney Metropolitan CMAs), the NRC has completed audits of all 13 CMAs' implementation of regional Catchment Action Plans. The audit reports are available from the following webpage.

19 Nov Report on progress towards native vegetation extent and condition target 
The NRC has reported assessment of progress made towards the native vegetation extent and condition target in NSW. This target is one of the Biodiversity theme targets. The NRC has reported progress in the form of a Snapshot, a Technical Report and a Technical Analysis.

20 Oct Commissioner opens the Australian National Field Days 
Dr John Williams opened the 58th Australian National Field Days at Orange. The event aimed to foster innovation in agriculture. Dr Williams spoke on the theme of Changing Agriculture in a Changing Environment.

15 Oct Commissioner's address at the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand 
Dr John Williams addressed the gathering at an event hosted by the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand. He commended the commitment of environmental professionals and added that it is time that our society realises that unless we give high priority to looking after our natural resource assets – we put at risk the very society itself.

30 Sep Preliminary assessment report on red gum forests assessment 
The NRC has assessed the river red gum forests in the Riverina bioregin and released its preliminary assessment report. The information in the report will help interested parties to make submissions to the NRC on how Government can best promote conservation outcomes and a sustainable future for the forest.

07 Sep Commissioner's lecture at the Hunter Valley Research Foundation  
"Our natural assets underpin all the things that make our lives possible and enjoyable," said Dr John Williams while delivering his lecture in the Hunter Valley Research Foundation's 14th Annual Lecture Series. He discussed the environmental challenges that will confront the state and strategies put in place to address them.

22 Jun Advice on proposed amendments to Chapters 2 and 5 of the Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology 
In May 2009, the Minister for Climate Change and the Environment sought the NRC's advice on proposed amendments to Chapters 2 and 5 of the Assessment Methodology. The NRC consulted with the Department of Environment and Climate Change, reviewed public submissions and considered review reports from independent experts before providing advice to the Minister.

26 May Progress report on the Snowy Mountains cloud seeding trial 
The NRC provided a progress report (Apr 09) to Government by evaluating Snowy Hydro's environmental reporting, as contained within its 2007 and 2008 annual reports. The NRC also visited cloud seeding sites in the Snowy Mountains and consulted with Snowy Hydro and a number of affected stakeholders.

24 Apr Research on NRM models and frameworks  
The NRC has engaged Dr Rod Griffith (Rod Griffith & Associates) to assist in the compilation and evaluation of alternative natural resource management (NRM) models. This paper is aimed at informing the debate over improvements to catchment management authority (CMA) governance both within the current legislative framework, in relation to the upcoming review of CMA legislation and the mid-term review of the standard, targets and catchment action plans.

22 Apr Audit report - Border Rivers Gwydir  
The NRC provided to the Government audit report for the Border Rivers Gwydir Catchment Management Authority. This reports provide greater understanding of the CMA's performance and guides the CMA Board in continued improvement.

06 Apr Audit reports - Central West and Lower Murray Darling  
The NRC provided to the Government audit reports for the Central West Catchment Management Authority and the Lower Murray Darling Catchment Management Authority. These reports provide greater understanding of each CMA's performance and guide the CMA Board in continued improvement.

23 Mar Investment funding allocations to catchment management authorities  
The NRC provided its advice to the Government on investment funding allocations to Catchment Management Authorities in 2008-09. The report provides a useful illustration of how the six-stage funding allocation process can be applied in practice.

12 Mar Audit reports - Hunter Central Rivers and Hawkesbury Nepean  
The NRC provided to the Government audit reports for the Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority and the Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment Management Authority. These reports provide greater understanding of each CMA's performance and guide the CMA Board in continued improvement.

04 Mar Commissioner chairs the Australian Water Association conference 
Dr John Williams, Commissioner, chaired and presented at the Australian Water Association Conference held at Sydney on 4 March 2009. John discussed the way forward for catchment management, including the impact of climate change. Bryce Wilde, Program Manager, NRC, presented the successes and challenges related to progress of catchment action plans in NSW.

2008 News

02 Dec Progress report on effective implementation of catchment action plans 
The NRC provided its progress report to the NSW Government. The report draws largely on our audits of seven of the 13 Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs') implementation of Catchment Action Plans. Overall, the report finds that CMAs are delivering clear results on the ground, are working with their communities to better manage the land and building understanding around the once contentious native vegetation reforms. In NSW, all the parts of the regional model are now well established. But of course there is room for improvement, both by CMAs and the other players.

01 Aug Commissioner addresses the NSW Land for Wildlife Conference
Dr John Williams, Commissioner, was the keynote speaker at the NSW Land for Wildlife Conference held at Sydney on 1-2 August 2008. His presentation emphasised the importance of conservation on private land and everyone's role in contributing to the achievement of natural resource management outcomes.

11 Jun Recommendation - Sydney Metro Catchment Action Plan
The NRC has recommended to the Government the Sydney Metro Catchment Management Authority's (CMA's) Catchment Action Plan (CAP) for approval. The NRC's recommendation includes specific actions to be taken by the CMA to improve its capacity to further develop and implement its CAP. It also outlines areas where the CMA will require support from the NSW Government.

04 Apr Allocating NRM funding between NSW catchment management authorities
The Premier of NSW provided a Terms of Reference and the NRC submitted a report 'Allocating NRM funding between NSW Catchment Management Authorities' to the Premier, recommending a six stage process for determining funding allocations.

07 Jan Expression of Interest for natural resource audits 
The NRC is seeking Expression of Interest to appoint a partner organisation to assist with a new innovative program of audits of the effectiveness of government investments in natural resource management. Performance auditors, environmental auditors and natural resource auditors may be interested in this appointment. The audit program will commence mid February 2008.

2007 News

18 Dec Helping everyone in NRM to understand the Standard 
The NRC has released the document 'An introduction to the Standard for Quality NRM' to help everyone involved in NRM to understand the Standard and its benefits.

28 Nov NRC releases its 2006-07 Annual Report 
The NRC forwarded to the Premier its 2006-07 Annual Report for presentation to the NSW Parliament.

07 Nov Commissioner addresses NSW Coastal Conference 
Dr John Williams, Commissioner, gave a presentation during his plenary address at the 16th NSW Coastal Conference 2007 at Yamba. His paper 'Challenges for integrated natural resource management in coastal NSW' was well received by the delegates.

25 Oct Commissioner gives keynote address at State Landcare Forum 
Dr John Williams, Commissioner, was the keynote speaker at the Namoi Landcare Management and State Landcare Forum 2007 at Tamworth. His paper 'Future landscapes - moving forward together' formed part of the Forum proceedings.

22 Oct Draft framework for auditing the implementation of catchment action plans 
The NRC is seeking submissions on its Draft Framework for Auditing the Implementation of Catchment Action Plans by Friday 30 November 2007. One of the NRC's specific functions under the Natural Resources Commission Act 2003 is to audit the effectiveness of the implementation of catchment action plans in achieving compliance with the Standard for Quality Natural Resource Management and the state-wide targets, adopted by the Government in November 2005. The draft audit framework explains how the NRC will conduct audits to provide confidence and promote improvement.

01 Aug Scientific review - Lower Lachlan Groundwater Sharing Plan 
The NRC submitted its report to the Premier on scientific review of Lower Lachlan Groundwater Sharing Plan. The Government has considered the NRC's advice and amendments to the Lower Lachlan Groundwater Sharing Plan are currently on public exhibition.

16 Jul Lower Murray Darling Catchment Action Plan 
The NRC provided advice to the Government recommending the approval of the Lower Murray Darling Catchment Action Plan.

26 Jun Progress report on the Snowy Mountains cloud seeding trial 
The NRC provided a progress report on the Snowy Mountains cloud seeding trial to the Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water and the Minister for Planning. The NRC provided its recommendations after visiting cloud seeding sites, consulting with Snowy Hydro and a number of affected stakeholders, and evaluating Snowy Hydro's environmental reporting in its 2005 and 2006 annual reports.

15 Jun MER: Comparative review of institutional models 
The purpose of this review was to gain insight for parties involved in implementing monitoring, evaluation and reporting (MER) system for natural resource management (NRM) in NSW. The report, MER: A comparative review of three institutional models, presents a comparative assessment of three institutional models in order to assess why MER is effective in other jurisdictions and industries.

14 Jun Landscape approach to vegetation management
The NRC has completed a review of landscape vegetation plans and submitted its final report, A landscape approach to vegetation management, to the Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water.The NRC believes its recommended landscape approach to vegetation management will ensure the Government is in a better position to meet its state-wide targets for natural resource management.

23 Apr Master planning under SEPP 71 - Periodic progress report 
The NRC provided a periodic progress report to the Minister for Planning, summarising its recommendations on SEPP 71 matters since November 2006.

15 Jan Advice on revised general amendments to EOAM 
The NRC provided advice to the Minister for Natural Resources on proposed general amendments to the Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology (EOAM).

2006 News

14 Dec Recommendations on three catchment action plans
The NRC reviewed Catchment Action Plans (CAPs) of the Hawkesbury Nepean, Murray and Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) and provided individual recommendations to the Government on whether they should be approved. Now the NRC has provided advice on 11 of the 13 CMAs' CAPs.

28 Nov Review of revised general amendments to EOAM
The Minister for Natural Resources has withdrawn the previously proposed general amendments to the EOAM, and provided the NRC with revised general amendments for its review and advice.

15 Nov Advice on Water Sharing Plan for the Lower Lachlan Groundwater Resource
The NRC provided advice to the Premier after reviewing the scientific basis of aspects of the Water Sharing Plan for the Lower Lachlan Groundwater Resource prior to the plan's commencement. The Terms of Reference were received in October.

02 Nov Review of Soil Assessment chapter and general amendments to EOAM
The Minister for Natural Resources has asked the NRC to review and provide advice on the Soil Assessment chapter and some general amendments to the EOAM. These amendments are proposed by the Department of Natural Resources.

26 Oct Advice on invasive native scrub
The NRC provided advice to the Ministers for Natural Resources and the Environment on proposed changes to the Invasive Native Scrub chapter of the EOAM.

27 Sep Recommendations on eight catchment action plans
The NRC reviewed eight of the 13 CMAs' CAPs and provided individual recommendations to the Government on whether they should be approved. The NRC has also reviewed drafts of the remaining three CAPs while one CAP is yet to be submitted to the NRC.

27 Sep Consolidated report on progress of catchment action plans
The NRC provided a consolidated report to the Government on the progress of catchment action plans - their place in current and future NRM in NSW. This report explains the 'big picture' context in which the CAPs were prepared, and provides an overview of the NRC's assessment of them, the key areas for improvement, and the assistance required from government agencies.

10 Aug Review of recommended changes on Invasive Native Scrub
The Minister for Natural Resources asked the NRC to advise him and the Minister for the Environment on the suitability of recommendations made in a report produced by the INS Review Group. Recommendations include proposed changes to the Invasive Native Scrub chapter of the EOAM.

22 May Review of Snowy Hydro's cloud seeding trial
The Minister for the Environment asked the NRC to review the Snowy Hydro's Snowy Precipitation Enhancement Research Project Annual Report 2004 and provide advice on progress of the trial, its environmental impacts to date, and the validity of its environmental monitoring elements.

28 Feb Extension of due date for submissions to the issues paper for landscape or multi-farm vegetation plans
The NRC amended its process for the landscape vegetation plan review. This change allows the due date for submissions on the issues paper to be extended to 17 March 2006. The NRC will next release a draft report on the review, planned for early April 2006 (it will no longer be releasing an options paper).

21 Feb Government adopts the Standard and state-wide targets
In February 2006, the NSW Government adopted the remaining state-wide targets for natural resource management. The Government has previously adopted the Standard for Quality Natural Resource Management and a core set of state-wide targets in May 2005.

2005 News

01 Dec NRC's new role under the Native Vegetation Act 2003
The Native Vegetation Act 2003 commenced on 1 December and the NRC is now required to provide formal advice to the Minister for Natural Resources about any proposed changes to the Environmental Outcomes Assessment Methodology. For matters related to biodiversity, it will provide advice to the Minister for the Environment. In addition, the NRC may propose changes to the Assessment Methodology.

30 Nov Systems reviews of all 13 CMAs completed
The NRC completed systems reviews of all 13 CMAs and is now assisting them as they prepare action plans to address the key findings from their systems reviews. The NRC is also preparing to review draft CAPs so that it can provide advice to the Government on whether they should be approved.

21 Nov Advice on Snowy Hydro's cloud seeding trial
The NRC reviewed the Snowy Hydro's Snowy Precipitation Enhancement Research Project Annual Report 2004 and provided advice to the Government on progress of the trial, its environmental impacts to date, and the validity of its environmental monitoring elements.

14 Nov NRC to conduct a review of landscape scale vegetation plans
The Government asked the NRC to provide advice on the potential for Landscape Vegetation Plans to produce better economic as well as environmental outcomes than single-farm, or property vegetation plans, and to develop an approach for assessing landscape scale vegetation management plans that may be submitted by multiple landholders under the Native Vegetation Act 2003.

15 Oct Systems reviews of all CMAs started
The NRC started systems reviews of CMAs to assess the extent to which CMAs systems are consistent with the recommended Standard. These reviews will also inform the NRC's review of CMAs' CAPs and recommendations to the Government on whether the CAPs should be approved.

09 Sep Self-help audit tools for CMAs
To help CMAs understand and prepare for systems reviews, the NRC has developed a suite of self-help tools which are now available to CMAs.

09 Sep Guide to Using the Standard
The NRC prepared a Guide to using the Standard to assist CMAs in applying the Standard and gaining maximum benefit from it. The Guide contains a range of information including case studies and reference material.

05 Sep Final recommendations to Government on Standard and targets
In response to the NRC's May 2005 report, the Government asked the NRC to refine some of the state-wide targets and to recommend appropriate arrangements for monitoring and evaluating progress towards the targets. The NRC has completed these tasks and consolidated this additional work with its previous recommendations in a final report which it provided to the Government in early September.

 

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