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River Red Gum Scientific Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

Role

The role of the River Red Gum Adaptive Management Scientific Advisory Committee is to provide quality-assured scientific advice to government on the management of the river red gum forests and reserves.

Objectives

The general objectives of a combined NSW–Victoria Science Advisory Committee are:

  • Provide a scientific program to underpin the active forest management of the river red gum forests and reserves
  • A shared ecosystem-based science strategy
  • More efficient use of resources and ability to learn from work implemented on a broader geographic scale
  • Enhanced ability to attract and retain high-calibre science capability
  • Scaling up program capacity with expertise strengths of each state
  • Joint communication of the science to support management actions in both states.

Responsibilities

The River Red Gum Adaptive Management Scientific Advisory Committee will provide direction to the state agencies by:

  • Providing scientific advice to inform an adaptive management framework for active health management of river red gum forests
  • The development of a scientific program to underpin the active forest management of the river red gum forests and reserves, including advising on priorities for strategic research programs
  • Overseeing a performance measurement, evaluation and reporting program as part of the adaptive management strategy
  • Providing scientific advice to assist in prioritisation of park management objectives, management strategies and service delivery
  • Advising on the rationale, design, application and performance measurement of management techniques for active forest health management such as ecological thinning
  • Advising on the risks and consequences of those risks to the long-term health of the river red gum ecosystems
  • Reviewing and advising on supporting scientific information about the environmental values and management of river red gum ecosystems
  • Communicating the outcomes of research and science relating to the management of the river red gum forests and reserves.

Composition of the committee

The advisory committee will have an independent Chair and a Deputy Chair. The Deputy Chair will assist the Chair and fulfil the Chair role for any meetings the Chair is not able to attend. The Deputy Chair role will be filled by the Executive Director Science, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage with review after 12 months.

The committee will comprise scientists with expertise in one or more of the following fields:

  • Biology and ecology of the flora and fauna of river red gum and associated flood plain and woodland ecosystems
  • Ecological processes of river red gum and associated flood plain and woodland ecosystems
  • Water regimes for flood plain, wetland and woodland ecosystems
  • Forest management of red gum and associated flood plain and woodland ecosystems
  • Design and implementation of ecological experiments at a landscape-scale using the principles of adaptive management.

Membership will be sufficiently broad to cover all components of an active forest management program for the river red gum ecosystems. The committee will comprise the Chair, a policy representative from each state agency, and five independent scientists. If it is determined that additional scientific expertise is required, additional scientific appointments may be made.

The panel will be appointed by the Chief Executive, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, with agreement by the Secretary, Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment. Committee members will be appointed for three years, with the option to reappoint.

Reporting

The advisory committee will report through the Chair to the governance structure for the Intergovernmental Agreement (yet to be finalised). Each jurisdiction will be responsible for the on-ground implementation of the science program recommended by the River Red Gum Scientific Advisory Committee.

Reports on progress and activity will be provided to each meeting of the IGA Governance Structure.

An annual report will be prepared by the advisory committee outlining activities and summarising the advice provided.

Meetings

The advisory committee will meet three times per a year, face to face, with the venue alternating between states and one meeting involving a field visit. The costs of these meetings will be borne by the host agency but the costs of committee members and their travel will be met equally by the jurisdictions.

Committee business will also be conducted by electronic conferencing where necessary and feasible.

Page last updated: 08 April 2013