Advisory committee members

Call for community nominations – Gwydir Environmental Water Advisory Group.

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water invited applications from the community for Gwydir Environmental Water Advisory Group membership. Applications closed 22 November 2020.

The Gwydir Environmental Water Advisory Group (EWAG) provides advice to the department on the use of water for the environment in the Gwydir Valley.

Suitable applicants will contribute their local knowledge and relevant experience to guide the beneficial use of water for the environment. EWAG members will actively participate providing information, analysis and recommendations from their vantage point in the local community or representing a stakeholder group, to assist environmental water managers with annual watering priorities, adaptive management and implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Specific skills and knowledge sought includes:

  • Indigenous knowledge
  • floodplain and wetland management
  • water management
  • local knowledge of the Gwydir floodplain and wetlands including ecology
  • related community interests.

Successful applicants will be appointed for a term of up to 5 years. The EWAG is expected to meet on 4 occasions annually with additional field trips conducted on occasion. Please note that these are non-salaried positions. Travel and approved committee associated expenses will be reimbursed in line with NSW Government guidelines.

For further information:

Position description

For full position description for members, please see the members position description.

Gwydir Environmental Water Advisory Group

The Gwydir Environmental Water Advisory Group (EWAG) is a committee formed under Section 388 of the Water Management Act 2000 and referenced by the Gwydir Water Sharing Plan. The EWAG's focus is the river and wetlands within the Gwydir valley. The EWAG's purpose is to provide advice to the Minister for Energy and Environment, or their delegate, on the management of environmental water to maximise ecological benefits.

Purpose of the role

An EWAG member's purpose is to contribute their knowledge and experience relating to the group's overall objective of providing water for the environment. Members should participate actively by providing information, analysis and recommendations from their vantage point in the local community or stakeholder group, to assist environmental water managers to make adaptive decisions. Membership is based on representation in an ex officio capacity, or as a community volunteer. This applies to all ordinary members of the group.

Key responsibilities

  • Commitment to achieving the EWAG's objectives.
  • Gather relevant information to inform inputs on behalf of a group or interest.
  • Attend meetings to contribute to the consideration, discussion and deliberation of meeting topics.
  • Contribute to the formulation of objectives, priorities, risks and strategies for environmental watering.
  • Relay environmental watering information to interested people or organisations.
  • Contribute to the smooth operation of the committee by adhering to agreed procedures.
  • Review documentation between meetings, when necessary.
  • Communicate with the Chair and/or Executive Officer between meetings, when necessary.
  • Ability and willingness to attend meetings 2-4 times per year, which may include regional travel (community member costs will be met). This should not preclude community members with responsibility as caregivers.

Key challenges

  • Considering and respecting the views of others to maintain an inclusive and collaborative approach
  • Collating and considering information on a highly technical and complex topic
  • Articulating EWAG decisions to a broader community
  • Developing and maintaining an awareness of social, institutional, political and ecological issues relevant to local wetlands, water quality and river flows.

Key relationships

Internal Chairperson
  • Chairs EWAG meetings
  • Responsible for ensuring member participation and performance
Executive Officer
  • Manages EWAG administrative business and logistics
  • First point of communication
  • Manages collection and dissemination of information
EWAG Members and Alternatives
  • Participate on equal terms to consolidate, deliberate and develop advice
  • Strive to reach consensus in advice
EWAG Observers
  • Participate in meetings as a guest, but doesn't participate in decision-making
External Entity or community the position represents
  • Gather and consolidate views on matters related to the work of the EWAG for referral at meetings, or beforehand directly to the Executive.
  • Act as a conduit for information from the EWAG, when necessary

Capabilities for the role

An EWAG member should be able to, or aspire to, develop skills and knowledge to:

  • Communicate effectively, including the ability to listen attentively to others, absorb alternative points of view and articulate a message.
  • Analyse information and arguments, think critically and objectively about a complex problem.
  • Exhibit goodwill and support an inclusive and collaborative approach.
  • Employ appropriate interpersonal skills to ensure meetings and discussions are polite and constructive.
  • Understand and manage conflicts of interest.
  • Liaise broadly with their own constituency and represent them effectively.
  • Work towards an objective as part of a team.
  • Actively assist the EWAG Chairperson and Executive Officer with the challenging job of achieving complex decision-making by consensus.
  • Understand the role of water for local and regional communities and their environments.
  • Understand the NSW water management system, including Water Sharing Plan, policies and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
  • Understand the roles of agencies and community groups in the EWAG - where they fit, who they represent, and their perspectives.

Applications closed 22 November 2020. For further information please contact Natalie Young or 02 6229 7159.

The department is committed to the principles of the Equal Employment Opportunity, Work Health and Safety, Cultural Diversity and Ethical Work Practices and encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds. If you require access to information via a different process, are speech or hearing impaired or require reasonable adjustment in the application process please contact, phone: 02 6229 7159.