Seminar summary: Place-based IWM planning

Clearwater, in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), hosted a series of Integrated Water Management (IWM) planning seminars across the Port Phillip & Westernport region in August & September 2017. We kicked off the series in Ascot Vale for the Maribyrnong & Werribee catchments, travelled to Pakenham for the Westernport & Dandenong catchments, and finished in Yering for the Yarra catchment. Across the three seminars we had an amazing 180 people attend from a range of different agencies and backgrounds.

Our aim

Our focus was on bringing together people from different disciplinary backgrounds and organisations to enhance their collective knowledge of place-based integrated water management planning.

The seminars explored the integration of water and urban planning and how it varies in different urban development contexts, strategies to strengthen stakeholder collaboration, methods to understand local context, and how to deliver best-for-community outcomes.

The seminars preceded and supported the DELWP IWM Forums and aimed to build capacity of practitioners to inform and influence place-based IWM planning.


We had a fantastic line-up of speakers at each of the seminars. Here are some of the highlights:

Welcome to Country & cultural values of water by Uncle Bill Nicholson & Uncle Dave Wandin, Wurundjeri Land Tribe and Rohan Henry, Bunurong Land Council - We were fortunate to be joined by traditional owners from Wurundjeri & Bunurong, who shared stories about what water means to aboriginal people. “Traditional owners maintain knowledge & connection to water and continually seek to be included in policy and decision making. Talk to us early, talk to us often; we can collaboratively help you to meet shared goals.”

Resilience, liveability and collaboration by Prof Rob Skinner, Monash Centre for Water Sensitive Cities at the Monash Sustainable Development Institute - A reflection on what makes a resilient and liveable city, and the implications of climate change and urbanisation, with discussion on how leadership, culture and systems are fundamental for delivering our shared outcomes.

Integrated Water Management Framework by Katie Burns, Shiroma Maheepala & Dennis Corbett, DELWP - An overview of the IWM Framework (including the IWM Forums and associated working groups) and broader IWM context described in  Water for Victoria. Check out the recently released IWM framework & IWM Forum chair appointments.

Economic framework for collective benefits and individual costs by Dr Jeremy Cheesman, Marsden Jacob Associates - An evaluation of the economic value associated with delivering outcomes of Water for Victoria and an overview of three available tools/resources for cost allocation: Urban Water Strategy Economic evaluation framework, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities Comprehensive economic evaluation framework (IRP2), DELWP Cost allocation framework for IWM projects.

Achieving better outcomes through collaboration by Dr Mark Elliott & Hailey Cooperrider, Collabforge - A how-to session exploring the different types of collaboration (team, organisational, multi-organisation) and tips for success - understanding your own needs, interests & biases before collaborating, creating shared understanding of the key concepts & expectations, and building capability as a group before expecting your best work. “Tension is a key part of collaboration. It’s where the gold lies. Design and plan for tension to make the most of it.”

Place-based planning for resilient and liveable communities by Kate Alder, Paul Cassidy & Chris Braddock, Victorian Planning Authority and Sam Innes, City of Port Phillip (substantive position) - An examination of five different planning contexts: greenfield, major infill, urban renewal, densification and service planning and delivery. This session also explored the role of the planning system and how collaborative approachs can help to deliver outcomes beyond the formal planning system.

IWM in practice by local champions in each region - This peer-to-peer knowledge sharing session included a series of snapshot presentations on selected IWM initiatives in each region, followed by table-based discussions of the IWM initiatives and a collective reflection. It recognised and empowered champions and organisations already doing great work to deliver IWM outcomes through collaborative planning and delivery.

Linking to IWM Forums and engaging with executive officers - A reflection on how individuals can share their knowledge and insights of place-based IMW planning with others within their organisation (including executive officers) ahead of the IWM Forums.

Clearwater will be continuing to deliver a range of activities, training and events to support the implementation of Water for Victoria. Visit our training and events page to see what’s coming up. If you’d like to stay in touch: