What is the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health?
The Partnership is a collective of government, agriculture, resources, industry, research and community interests across the Fitzroy Basin in central Queensland.
Partners have a common goal of providing a more complete picture on river health and support this goal by providing funding, resources and contributing water quality and ecosystem health monitoring data through data-sharing arrangements.
After two and a half years of negotiations and planning the Fitzroy Partnership was formally established in February 2012. Our first report card on the aquatic ecosystem health in the Fitzroy Basin was released on the 28 May 2013. The second report card for 2011-12 was released on 21 August 2014, the third for 2012-13 report was released on 12 December 2014 and the fourth in the series and most up-to-date, the 2013-14 report card was released on 26 June 2015. With four report cards and a significant dataset over four years, trends are now beginning to emerge about the health of the catchments in the Fitzroy Basin. It is anticipated that in future report cards will be released nine months after the last sample is taken.
How does the Partnership ensure aquatic ecosystems are maintained?
While not directly involved in river management, report card results are designed to inform consideration of whether current management strategies are proving successful in maintaining the health of aquatic ecosystems. Please see our role of partnership diagram to understand our role in informing better river and catchment management.
The report cards will also help guide and improve a range of regional plans, such as the Central Queensland Sustainability Strategy and potentially guide investments towards improved aquatic ecosystem health by governments and all partner organisations.
What are the benefits for the community?
The community will benefit through access to accurate water quality and ecosystem health information, presented in a way that is understandable by all. In November 2014, the first Drinking Water Reports were released for Rockhampton and the Central Highlands, to complement the Report Card results grading the health of the rivers in the Fitzroy Basin. A grades were received for all townships tested, with in-depth data provided in our Drinking Water Reports section. Again in 2013-14 A grades were received for all townships in Rockhampton and Central Highlands, with some aesthetic exceptions evident.
What are the benefits for Partners?
We’ve asked our Partners to let us know why they are involved in the Partnership and the value they gain from being involved. To understand the many reasons our Partners came on board this strong collective, Major Partner Peabody Energy lists why they joined in 2012 – click here – and Partner CQG Consulting outlines a different perspective for joining – click here.
Role of Partnership
Setting the Scene
The Hart report prepared following the 2008 floods and a subsequent cumulative impact assessment study both highlighted the need for an integrated monitoring and reporting system for water quality in the Fitzroy Basin.
Many organisations had already been advocating for the establishment of such a monitoring system, including Fitzroy Basin Association Incorporated (FBA), which recommended this action through its Fitzroy Basin Water Quality Improvement Report. Driven by the association, relevant monitoring organisations were approached and asked to form an alliance to address the lack of a cohesive monitoring program.
The benefits of sharing data and the desire to provide clear information in light of growing public concern led many organisations to sign on to the initiative.
Building on other successful approaches
Our partnership has drawn on aspects of established monitoring initiatives such as the South East Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership and the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan Reporting, which have proven successful in providing access to larger pools of data and better information to guide management and policy decisions.
However, given that the Fitzroy Basin is a different system with a diversity of organisations with a stake in waterway health, our partnership is different and will call for its own unique approach. With this in mind the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health will implement an innovative approach tailored to our unique set of needs and opportunities with the vision of delivering a world class integrated waterway health monitoring and reporting program.
A combination of processes and structures are required to draw together this rich spectrum of stakeholders in order to inform, direct, manage and monitor the activities of the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health and to ensure it achieves its objectives. These processes and structures are outlined below.
The Partner‘s Network includes all members of the Partnership. The Partner‘s Network meets periodically and nominates and endorses a Management Committee.
The role of the Management Committee is to provide strategic oversight and direction to the activities
Scientific Advisory Panel
The role of the Scientific Advisory Panel is to provide science advice and quality assurance relevant to the Partnership, to the Management Committee and Secretariat. Details of the scientific advisory panel are available by clicking here.
Support managed by the Host Organisation and overseen by the Management Committee. Staff and contractors of the Host Organisation that provide operational support and administer all partnership groups.
The role of the host organisation is to provide and manage the Partnership Manager and the Partnership Secretariat that will implement Partnership activities. The Fitzroy Basin Association is the current host organisation for the Partnership.
The governance and operational arrangements of the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health are outlined in our Operating Rules
Agreement signed by participating members. Sets out Partnership governance and operation. A copy is available Here.
A five-year strategic plan for the Partnership has been developed and endorsed by the Management Committee, and can be found here.
FBA is the current Host Organisation of the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health.
If you would like more information about joining the Partnership please contact:
Executive Officer, Fitzroy Partnership for River Health
Phone: 07 4999 2821
Mobile: 0400 221 055
If you have a more general comment or request, please contact:
Science Integration Officer, Fitzroy Partnership for River Health
Phone: 07 4999 2819