Local perspectives on weirs in the Upper Nepean

Institute for Sustainable Futures
Publication Type:
2003, pp. 1 - 136
Issue Date:
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The Independent Expert Panel of the HawkesburyâNepean River Management Forum commissioned the Institute for Sustainable Futures to conduct research into the values held by river users and community members in relation to the weirs on the Upper Nepean River and concerns they would have with any change to the current situation. The weirs at the centre of this research are Bergins, Thurns, Sharpes and Brownlow Hill. The research questions guiding the project are: What is the nature of the social and economic relationship between people and weirs at a local level In what ways would people want to participate in decisions about the weirs and river management Local people were asked about how they use the weirs, what value they see the weirs having for their community, culture and industry and what concerns there may be about potential changes. The research aims to help the Expert Panel and the Forum make appropriate decisions about potential retention, modification or removal of the weirs and the fishways associated with them. A further aim is to facilitate public participation in the decision-making process. Within any community, there are different individuals and groups with diverse interests and experiences. These differences might result in multiple perspectives between and within groups. To differentiate some of these perspectives, the broader community was divided into four sectors: general public, community groups, identifiable water users such as irrigators and recreational users and Indigenous groups. The general public participants emphasised the aesthetic and leisure value of the river. They appear to identify very strongly with the river, with participants interpreting the existence of the weirs as integral to both the riverâs survival and the ongoing economic survival of the region. The findings indicate that this group view the weirs as an integral part of the river and the river as an integral part of the Camden community.
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