Bronte catchment: Citizens' Jury - summary case study
Grant number: 3036
Local government area/s: Waverley Council
Location/s: Bronte Gully
Project partners: Waverley Council
Bronte Beach, in the heart of eastern Sydney, is highly valued and well-used by local residents and visitors. Bronte residents are committed to improving the beach's water quality, which can be seriously compromised by stormwater pollution.
The Bronte community includes residents, local businesses, Waverley Council, community groups and visitors.
This project focused on reducing pollution at the source. The primary aim was to include all sectors of the community, particularly those who may not normally be involved in stormwater management. It sought to develop inclusive, integrated and sustainable solutions to improve stormwater quality, by:
- increasing levels of community participation and involvement
- improving community knowledge, attitudes and motivations
- establishing self-governing, sustainable participatory processes
- bringing about changes in behaviour, policy and practice
- implementing ongoing activities to improve water quality, and monitoring those processes
- evaluating the effectiveness of these processes in developing sustainable integrated approaches to stormwater management.
The project covered the stormwater catchment area that channels stormwater directly onto Bronte Beach – approximately 135 hectares.
The project addressed community expectations and behaviours that contribute to stormwater pollution. Members of the Bronte community, acting as part of a community network, participated in identifying and managing appropriate actions to prevent stormwater pollution.
Methodology and tools
Project staff conducted background research and planning, which included getting to know their community. This was followed by the formation of the Citizens' Jury.
The Citizens' Jury involved 15 residents, recruited through strategies including a telephone poll, newsletter advertisements, posters, information stalls at community events, and presentations to community groups and precinct committee meetings.
Jury candidates were interviewed to select a cross-section of people with a range of environmental views, values and involvement in the local community. Jurors met for an informal discussion about the jury process and received detailed briefing papers about catchment-based activities that could improve water quality.
The Citizens' Jury then met to find out more about these activities. They received a series of pre-prepared reports and heard expert witness testimonies detailing practical and achievable solutions to local stormwater and environmental issues. After questioning witnesses, they retired to decide which activities to recommend.
Two facilitators and the Bronte Catchment Project Team supported the process.
The jury presented its recommendations to representatives from Waverley Council, NSW EPA, the Stormwater Trust and members of the community. The foremost recommendations included community education and participation, and urban planning solutions.
- An increased level of community participation and involvement in the Bronte area.
- Positive improvements in knowledge, attitudes and motivations.
- Establishment of a self-governing sustainable participatory process.
- Changes in behaviour, policy and practice.
- Ongoing integrated activities to improve water quality and monitoring of those activities.
- Evaluation of the effectiveness of these participatory activities in developing sustainably integrated approaches to stormwater management.
The Citizens' Jury ensures local commitment to and ownership of the issues, and development of effective stormwater pollution reduction campaigns.
Project resources and further information
Bronte Catchment: Citizens' Jury - detailed case study
Phone Waverley Council on (02) 9369 8000.
www.elton.com.au/bronte.htm for a list of jury recommnedations and awards the project has won
See related case study: Waverley Council - effective environmental education campaigns
Stage 3 grants details
Page last updated: 26 February 2011