How Blue is NRM?

Tony Flaherty, Manager

Coast and Marine – Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Department for Environment and Water


Twenty-four years on from the inaugural Coast to Coast Conference in Hobart, this talk will navel gaze on aspects of previous national initiatives that many hoped would survive to help improve and shape NRM coast and marine integration. Can we resuscitate the integration of marine and coastal conservation into Natural Resource Management nationally? Some despair over the apparent failure of national strategies to deliver better coast and marine NRM outcomes over the last decade. However regional attempts to try to deliver better coast and marine outcomes, in the terrestrially dominated NRM world, should be attempted. Local efforts from a South Australian NRM region will be outlined.


Tony Flaherty, Manager, Coast and Marine – Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Department for Environment and Water.

In his role, Tony works with a small team to undertake amrien and coastal conservation works across the Adelaide region. The team also facilitates community awareness, monitoring and wildlife conservation projects. Tony previously worked as the South Australian and national coordinator for the Marine and Coastal Community Network.

Managing an artificial island for seabirds and shorebirds

Tony Flaherty1, Damian Moroney2, Warrick Barnes3 

1Manager Coast and Marine Services, Natural resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges (NR AMLR), 2Natural resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges (NR AMLR), 3Adelaide Plains Council.


Offshore of Port Adelaide, a small but significant sand island has been forming since the 1960’s construction of a breakwater and deposition of dredge spoil. Now, the 1.6 kilometre island, stabilised by saltmarsh and other vegetation is a significant bird colony for seabirds and waterfowl. Bird Island hosts the state’s largest permanent Australian Pelican colony as well as significant nest sites for endangered Fairy Tern and roosting and feeding for migratory shorebirds. Natural Resources AMLR have negotiated a memorandum of understanding between the port and transport agencies for collaborative conservation management. A biodiversity action plan has been developed and is being implemented. This presentation will outline the values of this artificial habitat, management challenges and conservation values and objectives. Rat and fox control are just two of the challenges. After previous trials of contracted rat control, an intensive volunteer rat baiting project has been trialled. The presentation will also touch on conservation of other islands in the region, and  efforts to restore seabird colonies.


Damian currently works for Natural Resources, Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges as the Seascapes Coordinator. Previously he was the South Australian Coordinator of the Coasts and Cleans Seas program, a member of the national Intergovernmental Coastal Reference Group, a member of Marine and Coastal Community Network National Reference Group and a member of the SA Marine Protected Area and Marine Planning Steering Committee.


Coastal management for shorebirds in Tasmania: 3 case studies

Dr Eric Woehler

1Birdlife Tasmania, , Australia


Tasmania is a refuge for many species of Australia’s beach-nesting birds. With significant proportions of several species, conservation based on science-based management of coastal areas is critical. Three case studies are presented here where survey data of breeding beach-nesting birds were used for local to regional coastal management strategies. These case studies deal with 4WDs, dogs and business and community clean up efforts for marine debris and invasive weeds.


Eric Woehler has been working on Tasmania’s shorebirds for almost 40 years.

Little Penguins, culverts and coastal construction

Dr Eric Woehler1, Dr Philippa Agnew2, Regi Broeren1, Jill Jones1, Peter Vertigan1

1Birdlife Tasmania, , Australia, 2Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony, Oamaru, New Zealand


Little Penguins are a significant focus for commercial and non-commercial tourism throughout southern Australia and New Zealand. Breeding immediately behind the coast in burrows, under rocks and even using human infrastructures, penguins are vulnerable to the fragmentation and loss of coastal habitat from human activities. The recent sealing of a road and expansion of a car park for visitors to a penguin colony in southeastern Tasmania brought the Tasmanian Department of State Growth, Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service and BirdLife Tasmania together into a collaborative partnership, with construction and management of the site during construction. All aspects and decisions regarding the planning and construction were based on contemporary surveys and advice based on local and New Zealand expertise and experiences. Lessons were learned about the approach, and how to respond to unexpected outcomes during coastal construction.


Eric Woehler has been working on seabirds for 40 years.

Coastal garden design workshop

Ms Linda Durham1

1Natural Resources Adelaide & Mt Lofty Ranges, Eastwood, Australia


In 2014 the coastal gardens planting guide project was initiated by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board to address priorirtes in its coastal action plans. The guide educates the public about weeds (or ‘garden escapes’) and provides practical advise for using local coastal plants to create a stylish garden. A feature of the guide is the landscape plans designed specifically for local coastal plants with sustainably sourced landscapeing materials. Part of the guide’s promotion included 15 public workshops and a presentation on: the benefits of native coastal plants, plant identification, what plants to avoid, how to navigate the guide, landscapes design ideas and much more. Over 500 people attended the workshop series and 25,000 copies of the guide were distributed across Adelaide and Mount Lofty region. Today the guide still remains a very popular resource for residents and exisiting workshops are still being delivered upon request. Building on from this successfull project  Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board in collabration with a sustainable landscape architect have now designed and trialled a new workshop, Coastal Garden Design workshop. This presentation will provide you with an extensive overview of this new initiative which aims to drive behavioural change and transform coastal gardens in sensitive areas into low cost and low maintenance coastal native gardens.


I am a experienced NRM practitioner who is passionate about working with people to achieve conservation outcomes across land & sea scapes.  I have a strong background in community engagement, planning, plant and animal control and coastal management. I enjoy working in Natural resource management amongst all the challenges and issues.

Evaluating a new model for the integrated delivery of Reef water quality outcomes by the agricultural sector and NRM organisations in Queensland

Mr Adam Knapp, Ms Emily Maher, Mr Geoff Park, Ms Anna Roberts, Ms Carole Sweatman

1Queensland Farmers’ Federation, Brisbane, Australia


Government environmental funding is typically provided to regional natural resource management (NRM) or industry organisations who work with local partners and/or landholders to plan and implement actions for public good outcomes. This is no different for Great Barrier Reef (GBR) programs and whilst organisations across the reef catchments have worked in partnership for some years, each largely run their projects independently with differing processes. In 2016, twelve NRM and industry organisations, known as the Reef Alliance, were successful in applying for a single reef wide integrated project totalling $45.5 million. The three year project supports nearly 2,000 farmers and graziers over 1,841,480ha across 33 catchments adapt practices that improve water quality outcomes for the GBR.

In Australia there are very few examples where collaborative NRM projects have been implemented on this scale, let alone be subject to a robust evaluation. As such, it is vital that the Reef Alliance (RA) delivery model is evaluated to determine if it provides a more cost-effective and efficient way of delivering NRM projects.

Establishing and implementing a monitoring and evaluation framework against best practice criteria to deliver a large scale NRM project will provide a method against which this project and other collaborative initiatives can evaluate their impact.

Engaging the RA partners in revising the framework and collecting information is vital in getting buy-in and acceptance on why robustly evaluating the delivery model is important to guide the implementation of future GBR investment.


Adam joined Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) in 2008, and brings with him fifteen years’ experience in policy and project management of environmental initiatives and sustainability issues in agricultural industries in Australia. He has travelled regularly throughout Queensland and interstate in training and mediation roles with primary producers. Prior to that Adam worked for the National Native Tribunal in Brisbane and Sydney which involved assisting in finding resolutions between indigenous groups, landholders and government stakeholders. Adam currently manages the Environment and Natural Resource Management portfolio for QFF and manages a $45M project to support farmers and graziers improve their practices across Great Barrier Reef catchments.

About the Association

The Australian Coastal Society (ACS) was initiated at the Coast to Coast Conference in Tasmania in 2004. The idea was floated as a means for those interested in coastal matters to communicate between conferences and where possible take resolutions of the conference to appropriate levels of government.

The idea was discussed further at the Coast to Coast Conference in Melbourne in 2006 and it was agreed that Bruce Thom develop a constitution of a company limited by guarantee that would operate on a national basis.

This plan was accomplished and in 2008 at the Coast to Coast Conference in Darwin the constitution was ratified and an Executive appointed. The company received charitable status in 2011.

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