Westernport and Mornington Peninsula Collaboration - Implementation Workshop 1 - Report

On the 2nd of May members of the Westernport and Mornington Peninsula Catchment came together at the Tarnuk room in the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne to discuss how to effectively work together and decide how to progress in the co-delivery of the co-designed Westernport and Mornington Peninsula Catchment Program.

Purpose of the workshop

The purpose of the workshop was to begin implementation planning and discuss how we will work together to create healthy waterways in the Westernport and Mornington Peninsula catchment. The workshop allowed for members of the catchment community to share information about existing programs in the region and explore how they might work together across the region.

Who attended?

A total of 47 participants representing 27 different organisations attended the workshop.

  • 32 participants were external partners who represented a diverse array of groups including: councils, community and landcare groups, land owners, consultants, water retailers, industry groups, PPWCMA and DELWP.
  • 15 participants from Melbourne Water helped support the conversations and provide catchment knowledge.

What happened?

John Woodland (Melbourne Water Regional Services Manager - South East Region) welcomed partners and newcomers to the new phase of Strategy co-delivery. He acknowledged the recent fires in the region and the dramatic effect they have had on the community. He mentioned that the Healthy Waterways Strategy already has good traction in the region, then brought up the main question for the day: How can we best work together and build on existing progress?

Facilitator Geoff Brown rearticulated the main question of the day and asked participants to think about how Melbourne Water can help support existing programs to do better work. Participants were invited to share what they value most about collaboration.

Shiroma Maheepala's (DELWP) and Chantal Kelly's (Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network) presentations highlighted existing successful collaborations in the catchment: the IWM Forums and the Greens Bush to Arthurs Seat Biolink project. See document library for presentations.

Geoff then invited the participants to identify the positive things that stood out from these examples and other projects that involve collaboration currently occurring in the catchment.

Geraldine Plas (Principal, Waterway Collaboration at Melbourne Water) introduced the Healthy Waterways Strategy collaborative implementation framework developed as part of the Strategy, and explained how the input received at the Westernport forum in July 2018 had informed the framework. She invited participants to think about how the framework would best work in practice and for the co-delivery of the Strategy over the coming years.

Tom Le Cerf (Waterways Officer at Melbourne Water) invited participants to consider the diverse nature of the Westernport and Mornington Peninsula Catchment and how a successful collaboration model might take this into account . He described areas that have strong friends networks already, areas with a tourism focus, areas subject to large scale urban development, areas that are largely agricultural, or those that have strong natural values.

Geoff Brown introduced the main task for the day which was developing the collaboration model for the Westernport and Mornington Peninsula catchment. He asked the participants to consider the benefits they would most want to see from a collaborative approach.

Participants then split into six groups who were asked to develop possible models and report back, considering the five questions:

  • Who’s in the group? Is there a core group?
  • How often do they meet? And how?
  • What is the role of group?
  • How does the group connect with the Region-wide Leadership Group?
  • How does the group connect with the other stakeholders in the catchment?

As a final activity, Geoff Brown invited all participants to identify the key elements of an effective model that we could all agree on.

A working group of volunteers was established to progress the development of a model for the catchment.

John Woodland closed the workshop thanking participants. Geraldine Plas outlined the next steps, including:

  • Melbourne Water will convene the working group, who will be tasked to progress the development of the collaborative implementation model, and share the model with the forum for feedback.
  • All are encouraged to contribute to the Westernport and Mornington Peninsula conversation space on the Your Say platform, where anyone can post an event, share a story, add photos and videos, celebrate successes or communicate anything else waterway-related in the catchment.

Full details of discussions, outcomes, and next steps are outlined in the report attached in the Document Downloads section.

We thank everyone who contributed to the workshop, and we welcome everyone’s feedback on how we can continue to create healthy waterways together in the Westernport and Mornington Peninsula catchment.