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[free webinar]Managing the Hunter River estuary – applying new information and management approaches for better outcomes
July 21, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pmFree
The HEI seminar this month focuses on the management of the Hunter River and its estuary, with two presentations that highlight new initiatives and opportunities to improve the health and resilience of the waterway and the communities that live around it.
The Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme was established after the major floods of the 1950s. More than 60 years later, the recently completed review of the scheme has examined the benefits and impacts of the scheme, whether it continues to provide fit for purpose flood protection, and whether the infrastructure is resilient in the context of climate change and changing settlement and community expectations.
Much of the infrastructure of the Flood Mitigation Scheme is located around the Hunter River Estuary. Coastal local councils in NSW are in the process of developing Coastal Management Programs (CMPs) under the Coastal Management Act 2016. These will review, reframe and replace previous Coastal Zone Management Plans. CMPs set out the long-term strategic approach to managing the coastal zone, based on robust, risk-based analysis. Maitland City Council, with Newcastle City Council, Port Stephens Council and several public authorities, is in the early stages of preparing a CMP for the Hunter River estuary. The presentation from Maitland Council will explain how a collaborative, multi-stakeholder CMP process can provide a pathway to share knowledge, restore estuary health and create new opportunities for the community to engage with the waterway which connects the main settlements of the Lower Hunter.
Andrew McIntyre will be speaking on ‘Floodplain management: challenges of current and future management of the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme‘, and Catherine Pepper will be speaking on ‘Challenges and Opportunities for Collaboration: Championing real river health improvements through the Coastal Management Program for the Hunter Estuary‘.
Andrew McIntyre is a senior natural resources manager with the NSW Government, with more than 25 years’ experience. He currently manages the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme (HVFMS) and over the last five years has led a far-reaching review of the Scheme.
The HVFMS includes around $800 million of public infrastructure that protects the community of the lower Hunter from the worst effects of flooding. Key partners in the HVFMS include Hunter Local Land Services, NSW Soil Conservation Service and local councils.
The review included analysis of the interactions of the scheme with floodplain wetlands, cultural heritage, agricultural land use and urban development. It has developed detailed models and risk assessments of flooding impacts in subcatchments and the main river valley, and provided extensive new information about the capacity of existing flood mitigation infrastructure to remain functional with climate change and sea level rise.
Catherine Pepper is a visionary and collaborative environmental sustainability leader working at the nexus of technology, human settlement and the environment. With over 20 years’ experience delivering practical environmental management solutions for the public and private sectors, Catherine has recently joined Maitland City Council in the newly created role of Manager, Environment & Sustainability. Prior to joining Maitland City Council Catherine has held leadership roles in the fields of sustainability and smart cities with GHD Digital, Lake Macquarie City Council, Anditi and Umwelt (Australia) Pty Ltd.