Available on this page:
Evaluating regional plans' publications
Short booklet: Evaluating regional
plans in tropical savanna regions
Full report: Criteria & methods
for evaluating regional plans in the tropical savannas
These reports can be downloaded free below in PDF format, or for
hardcopy versions contact the Communication Team, or project
manager, Bruce Taylor, details below.
Savanna Planning Systems
Also see the new Project, Healthy Savanna Planning Systems, which develops on the
work carried out in this project.
Leader: Professor Geoff McDonald, University of Queensland,
Full title: Bioregional planning in Australia’s
Summary | Support for land managers and planners | Regions | Need for research and
critical evaluation | Future directions |
Project team | More
This two-year project reviewed regional natural resource
management (NRM) planning practice across the tropical savanna
regions of Australia. Specifically, the project evaluated the
technical capacity of regional plans to deliver on stated
sustainability objectives, thereby providing an understanding of
the current situation in planning and a benchmark for preparing and
evaluating future plans. More than 45 regional plans were evaluated
during the course of the project.
The research extended criteria and indicators for savanna health
so ecological, economic and social criteria could be applied to
regional NRM planning. It also identified the gaps in these areas
that are needed in regional plans.
The project produced:
- an evaluation methodology and criteria and,
- the results of applying the methodology to regions in the
Research and data collection is now complete, and a report that
provides a guide and application notes to users Evaluating
Regional Plans In Tropical Savanna Regions: A guide for regional
planners and reviewers, is now available (you can download it
at the bottom of this page).
A full technical report is now in preparation, along with
separate reports on the individual regions of the savannas.
Queensland - Fitzroy, Burdekin-Dry Tropics, Cape York,
Northern Gulf, Southern Gulf and Lake Eyre (Desert Channels)
Northern Territory – reviewed as one region including
Darwin, Katherine, Ti Tree – Alice Springs)
Western Australia - Kimberley).
The experiences in conducting the project strongly confirmed the
need for the research and critical development of criteria for plan
evaluation. By extension, this means guidance for improved plan
making in northern Australia.
We exceeded our expectations of the significance of the work,
despite the limitation of it being limited to historical activities
In addition to the innovation in development of criteria and
methodologies, a major strength of the project was the opportunity
to work closely with government policy makers and, on a regular
basis, to be able to achieve two-way communication with them.
The major challenge and opportunity for the project was that the
practice of regional NRM planning in Australia is changing
significantly resulting from the implementation of the National
Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (NAP) and the Natural
Heritage Trust (NHT2).
These developments created a moving target for assessment but
also opportunities for the research team to engage in the policy
process and the development of new planning approaches.
Developing the rigorous understanding of both the outcomes
criteria (healthy savanna landscapes) and the components of
effective planning, have put the TS–CRC at the forefront in a
number of planning and policy initiatives in the region.
The project now has individual reports on each of the tropical
savanna planning regions and a good understanding of their
requirements for future development of NRM planning. We hope to
capitalise on that understanding and partnerships with regional
bodies to identify research and planning needs for CRC
Two new projects are proposed:
- Options for the Governance of Regional Planning and
Development in the NT, in conjunction with the NT Department of
Infrastructure, Planning and Environment,
- Northern Gulf Draft Level Regional Plan in conjunction
with the Northern Gulf Resource Management Group
Prof. Geoff McDonald, CSIRO SE
Bruce Taylor, CSIRO SE
Clive McAlpine, UQ
Adele Vagg, UQ
Allan Dale, Qld DNRM
Rod Applegate, NT DIPE
Increasingly planners are realizing that they need to take account of the way different sectors interact within regions – the dynamic nature of regions For example a new railway will have flow on effects on road transport tourism… [read more...