As part of their requirements to implement the Marine Estate Management Strategy (MEM Strategy) , the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment initiated a water quality initiative to improve the management and coordination of urban and rural diffuse source water pollution in NSW. A key tool for delivering on this initiative is the ‘Risk-based framework (RBF) for considering waterway health outcomes in strategic land use planning decisions’.

The RBF is a protocol that decision-makers, such as councils and environmental regulators, can use to help manage the impact of land-use activities on waterways. It brings together existing principles and guidelines which the federal and all state and territory governments have adopted for managing water quality. The Framework’s underlying principle is that our waterways should be managed according to the community’s values and uses.

Alluvium has trialled the RBF approach across several catchments in NSW including Lake Illawarra and Narrabeen Lagoon. The outcomes of these trials are being incorporated into updated RBF guidelines to guide a range of users across NSW who are involved in land use planning and the management of waterways.

Alluvium were engaged to develop these updated guidelines, incorporating the latest research and guidance on approaches to consider the Framework for a range of scenarios associated with strategic land use planning, including individual state significant developments, future greenfield urban release areas, existing rural and urban catchments, and existing urban areas undergoing consolidation that will increase development density.