We developed an evidence based cause and effect model of the factors and benefits influencing landholders in adopting riparian works. A rigorous review of literature was undertaken using a systematic evidence synthesis method. Evidence was synthesized against the model and quality assessed providing a traffic light style rating of the confidence and consistency in the evidence for each relationship in the model. Evidence was summarised for a) production benefits, b) land value benefits and c) aesthetic amenity and landholder wellbeing benefits.
Evidentiary was engaged to investigate how landholders with a creek or river on their property benefited from conducting riparian works (such as fencing, weed control and re-vegetation.) The environmental benefits of these works are clear, but the personal benefits were not so well understood. Despite providing substantial funds to encourage these works on private properties, the Victorian Government found that some landholders did not take advantage of this funding. This was largely because it was unclear how they would personally benefit from the riparian works. The purpose of this review was to better understand these personal benefits, so that government agencies could more confidently promote them to landholders.
Department and Catchment Management Authority staff used the findings of our review to encourage landholders to adopt riparian works. The evidence synthesis also influenced policy and operational decisions made by the DELWP. A Policy Brief summarising the evidence findings assisted the Catchments Branch in preparing funding bids for Treasury.