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Targeted capacity building to meet real needs

This project was delivered for the Cooks River Alliance by Alexa McAuley and David Knights while at McGregor Coxall. As part of the project we reviewed existing sustainable urban water management (SUWM) practices and policies both within the Cooks River catchment and across Australia. Following on from that we developed a guidance report on strategic planning, model LEP and DCP clauses and advice on a waterways SEPP for the Cooks River.

As part of the project we developed a number of reports including a council capacity building needs assessment, a guide for development assessment staff, and a meta guideline to other guidelines and individual project case studies.

While the CRA councils share many common features, each council’s experience with SUWM has been different, and current capacity varies across the group. Our approach was to develop a targeted response rather than a one solution fits all. Thus, as part of the project we worked closely with councils to gain a better understanding of each council’s current SUWM capacity building needs. We then tailored the content of guidelines and other resources and training/workshop sessions to the needs of each council. A key objective for us in the project was to develop materials which were locally relevant and useful to practitioners in their everyday work and a process for planning capacity building actions, which could live beyond the project itself.


Policy guidance / Capacity building


Policy review / Needs assessment / Guidelines / Workshops


Cooks River Alliance