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Local Engagement

Local information and experience is critical to being able to effectively manage and deliver Commonwealth environmental water. We are very grateful for the expertise, advice, feedback and support provided by our delivery partners, environmental water holders, members of our advisory panels, regional advisory groups who invite us to participate in their processes, and the many landowners who work with us to plan, manage and monitor the use of environmental water in the Basin.

Your suggestions for environmental watering

Individuals and groups within the Basin community are encouraged to submit suggestions for the use of Commonwealth environmental water. This includes, but is not limited to, catchment management authorities, not-for-profit organisations, community groups, Indigenous organisations, and landholders. More information on how to submit your suggestion is available from the Your suggestions web page.

Local Engagement Officers

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office is now recruiting local engagement officers in the following towns: Deniliquin; Leeton, Dubbo, Mildura, Berri, and Goondiwindi.

These officers will be hosted by land and water management agencies and will work closely with all levels of government as well as local communities and businesses across a range of catchments for which they have responsibility. They will help identify opportunities to use Commonwealth environmental water to its best effect, locally and Basin-wide.

Applicants must demonstrate excellent liaison skills as well as knowledge, qualifications or experience in water and land management. Travel throughout Basin catchments and to Canberra will be required. These positions will be available on a non-ongoing basis for up to three years.

The selection criteria and information on how to apply is available at: Current vacancies.

Map - Location of Local Engagement Officers (PDF - 1.67 MB)

Frequently Asked Questions

The following 'Questions and Answers' also provide more information about the Local Engagement Officers.

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What are Local Engagement Officers and what do they do?

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office will be recruiting Local Engagement Officers in regional locations of the Basin, to work with communities to ensure local knowledge and views are taken into account in environmental water management decisions. The officers will also provide communities with greater access to information from the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.

The Local Engagement Officers will be active, visible and approachable and may assist locals to develop water use proposals for consideration by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.

Local Engagement Officers will be staff of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, complementing the Office's existing stakeholder engagement activities and supporting the good work already being done by other agencies and organisations in the catchment.

How many Local Engagement Officers will there be, and where will they be located?

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office will recruit six Local Engagement Officers across the Basin, with officers placed in each Basin state (South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland).

The Local Engagement Officers will be based with the following organisations:

  • Natural Resources South Australia Murray Darling Basin (Berri, South Australia)
  • Mallee Catchment Management Authority (Mildura, Victoria)
  • Murray Local Land Services (Deniliquin, New South Wales)
  • Riverina Local Land Services (Leeton, New South Wales)
  • Central West Local Land Services (Dubbo, New South Wales)
  • Queensland Murray Darling Committee (Goondiwindi, Queensland)

What is the program budget?

The Australian Government has committed $4.9 million over seven years to the program (2012-13 to 2018-19).

When will the Local Engagement Officers commence work?

Local Engagement Officers are expected to commence in early 2014-15.

Will the Local Engagement Officers duplicate or replace roles already filled by state governments or local groups? How will they work with these organisations?

Local Engagement Officers will support the good work already being done by other water managers in the catchments. They will work within and build upon existing state agency arrangements for community engagement, and will not duplicate or replace any of these. They will also work with environmental and water managers in ways that facilitate their work through sharing information and knowledge, and where appropriate coordinating functions so that environmental outcomes can be maximised.

Are Canberra staff being relocated?

These are new positions, to be filled by people from a local recruitment process, who have the right skills and on-ground experience to work with local communities in relation to environmental water management.

What about catchments that do not have a Local Engagement Officer?

Local Engagement Officers will cover multiple Basin catchments. They will work within and build upon existing arrangements for community engagement as undertaken by state and local water managers.

Staff from the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office in Canberra will also continue to meet and work with local people in the Basin.

How can I get in contact with my Local Engagement Officer?

Contact information, including email, phone and physical address, will be made available on the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office website once hosting arrangements have been finalised and the Local Engagement Officers have been recruited.

Where can I apply to become a Local Engagement Officer?

These positions are now open for applications and will close on 5 May 2014 (11.30 PM AEST). The selection criteria and information on how to apply is available at: Current vacancies

What level will the Local Engagement Officer's be employed at?

The Local Engagement Officer's will be employed at the Australian Public Service Level 6, as per the Department of the Environment Enterprise Agreement.

What kind of people are you looking for to become a Local Engagement Officer?

The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office is looking for experienced and skilled people to fill the Local Engagement Officer positions.

The Officers will need to demonstrate experience in working with a variety of stakeholders including governments and Ministers, industry, environmental representatives and local community groups.

Officers will also need to demonstrate experience in areas such as water management, biodiversity conservation, irrigation and/or agriculture, as well as knowledge of issues which are important in their region.

Good written and oral communication skills, as well as representation and negotiation skills, will be essential. Local Engagement Officers in some regions may also require specialist technical skills in science or administration to ensure that the specific needs of that region are met.