Frequently asked questions
Archived Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated: 5 February 2013. Content has not been amended and therefore may no longer be current.
What are the expectations of the Australian Government for the process to adapt plans in response to new information into the future?
A key aim of updating the regional NRM plans under Stream 1 is that plans are considered 'living' documents and that an adaptive management approach is taken that promotes continual improvement of strategic planning.
The Australian Government will consider the draft and final updated regional NRM plans against the Principles for Regional NRM Planning for Climate Change. Considerations will include whether the updated regional NRM plans adequately outline processes for future adaptation of the plan in response to new knowledge, changing circumstances and monitoring, evaluation and reporting information, and whether the plan outlines a process, and identifies triggers, for incorporation of new climate change knowledge and information.
The process for adapting regional NRM plans over time will depend on the region's circumstances, in line with existing statutory or non-statutory arrangements.
What are the Australian Government's expectations of governance arrangements for the NRM plans?
Part of the assessment of applications for funding under Stream 1 included consideration of the applicant's capacity to deliver an updated regional NRM plan on time and within budget, and the proposed governance arrangements for updating the regional NRM plans.
The Principles for Regional NRM Planning for Climate Change also consider adaptive governance as a component of the process for developing and adapting regional NRM plans over time. Therefore, governance arrangements, including roles and responsibilities and review / check points, that will support the adaptation of regional NRM plans over time will be a consideration when the Australian Government reviews the draft and final updated regional NRM plans against the Principles for Regional NRM Planning for Climate Change.
Notwithstanding any input by the Department, the regional NRM organisation will at all times remain responsible for ensuring the content of its regional NRM plan is accurate, up to date, consistent with all legal and regulatory requirements and is of a high quality.
What level of detail is expected from NRM plans and the data/models used to support those plans?
The Government acknowledges that there are significant differences in the status, style and requirements of regional NRM plans within and across regions, states and territories.
Within the scope of the Principles for Regional NRM Planning for Climate Change, regional NRM organisations may contextualise the principles at a regional scale. The level of detail in updated regional NRM plans therefore may vary according to specific circumstances in each NRM region across Australia.
It is understood that some regional NRM organisations have advanced climate change information that may be of high resolution and directly applicable to their regions. In these cases regional NRM organisations may use the information that is most effective and relevant for land use planning and management in their region. However, care should be taken to avoid 'false precision' through the use of high resolution climate change data that does not adequately represent the full spectrum of potential changes.
Appendix 1 of the Guidelines provides guidance for meeting the Principles including what information the Australian Government is looking to see in updated regional NRM plans (or equivalent) and typical questions the Australian Government may ask when considering the updated regional NRM plans (or equivalent) against the Principles and Attributes.
Is my region expected to work with other regional NRM organisations to update the regional NRM plan?
Yes, where relevant. NRM regions may cross over common landscapes, catchments, local government, or Regional Development Australia regions, land use types or similar community organisations.
It is a requirement under the Principles that updates to the regional NRM plan show evidence of cooperation for cross-regional planning for climate change adaptation and mitigation activities where relevant. Working collaboratively with neighbouring regional NRM organisations may be beneficial in ensuring common activities use best practice management strategies, knowledge or expertise is shared, and actions are undertaken where joint partnerships benefit the landscape and stakeholders.
What opportunities are there for Indigenous Australians to be involved in Stream 1?
There is opportunity for Indigenous Australians to link in with their relevant regional NRM organisation through their community engagement and consultation process. The Principles require that effective consultation and engagement processes are undertaken, including with relevant Indigenous groups.
There is a lot of climate change information currently available on various databases. Are regional NRM organisations able to use these sources of information?
It is important that regional NRM plans use information that is current and the most relevant to their region in order to most effectively guide regional NRM planning and management. It is expected that regional NRM plans will incorporate the most relevant and up-to-date climate change scenarios and information for their region on an ongoing basis.
There may be relevant climate change information available through federal, state or local government datasets.
Where agreed by the Department in a project's project plan or project budget, regional NRM organisations may use Stream 1 funding to assist with accessing relevant datasets at an appropriate scale and resolution where they are not able to freely access this information and where it is critical to making the required updates to the regional NRM plan.
How do these updates align with statutory arrangements for regional NRM plans?
Regional NRM plans will continue to be managed in line with existing statutory or non statutory arrangements, but updated to include links to Australian Government policies and initiatives.
Can funding be carried over beyond the year of commitment if appropriate contracts are in place?
No funding cannot be carried over beyond the year of commitment. Funding recipients should be in regular contact with their grant manager in the Department to discuss the progress of their project.
What is Stream 2?
Stream 2 supports coordination of research to produce regional-level climate change information to support medium term natural resource management planning.
Stream 2 includes two elements:
- Element 1 is the delivery of regional climate projections for the whole of Australia. The projections will focus on the elements of climate change of highest priority to regional NRM organisations.
- Element 2 involves research institutions to work with regional NRM organisations to deliver information on climate change, its impacts and potential adaptation responses, and provide guidance on how to use that information in NRM planning.
How does Stream 1 link with Stream 2?
The research information and climate change scenarios produced under Stream 2 may be utilised by the regional NRM organisations to improve their knowledge and use of best available information when updating regional NRM plans under Stream 1.
Why was Stream 2 released before Stream 1?
Up-to-date climate change information produced under Stream 2 is intended to be used by regional NRM organisations in the update of their regional NRM plans under Stream 1. It is appropriate for Stream 2 to commence preparation and dissemination of information to the relevant regions in the "cluster" during the early stages of updating regional NRM plans.
How will regional NRM organisations know which Stream 2 "cluster" they have been grouped into?
For delivery of Stream 2, the NRM regions across Australia have been grouped into eight 'clusters'. The clusters have been designed according to common characteristics in relation to land use, climate and how these are anticipated to change.
What Stream 2 projects are happening in the "cluster" for my region?
Under Element 2 of Stream 2, research institutions will work with planners in regional NRM organisations in the "clusters" to deliver relevant information on climate change, its impacts and potential adaptation responses, and provide guidance on how to use that information in NRM planning. Further information about Stream 2 is available at: www.climatechange.gov.au/NRMfundstream2