MDBC Annual Report 2006–07 Home | Contents | User guide | Download PDF

Part 3: Delivery of high-quality advice to Council, and achievement of its endorsed priorities, through strengthened capacity of the Commission and the Commission Office

Strategy 3.4
Develop and maintain necessary Commission communication, and technical and corporate information resources

Implementation of this strategy involves several aspects of knowledge management that are central to the internal workings of the MDBC.

Access and management of spatial data

Natural resources information is a key business input for the MDBC, and increasing knowledge access, integration and management capacity translates to better policy development and decision making.

Through its Natural Resource Information Unit the Commission continued to improve its collection and management of vital spatial data.

In 2006–07 the unit became part of the new Research Data and Reporting Section and recruited staff to improve coordination of information management across the Commission and with partner agencies. Enhanced interoperability improved policy development and decision making in natural resource management by significantly improving the access to, and quality of, data.

The collection of spatial data held by the Commission doubled in the reporting period.

Aerial photo of Lock 7 on the Murray River of Rufus River. Photo: MDBC

Aerial photo of Lock 7 on the Murray River junction of Rufus River.

(Photo: MDBC)

Knowledge of shared water resources

The MDBC and its partners generate knowledge and tools to improve water resources management. Current investment includes:

  • operation of the Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre (MDFRC)
  • participation in the eWater Cooperative Research Centre, and
  • monitoring of the Riparian Restoration Experiment, the third phase of a joint initiative of the MDBC, Monash University and several catchment management authorities.

The MDFRC, a partnership of the MDBC, CSIRO and Latrobe University, delivers freshwater ecological knowledge to underpin adaptive management of water and associated environmental resources of the Basin. MDFRC efforts support several MDBC programs in particular The Living Murray.

The eWater Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is a joint venture between leading water-cycle management, research and consulting organisations, including corporate, public and research bodies. eWater develops products that support the smartest and most efficient use of water and consults extensively to identify the needs of CRC partners. The MDBC is working closely with eWater in the development of a river operations and seasonal planning product and a daily RiverManager model.

Riparian project, replanting along Faithful Creek. Photo: Paul Reich

Riparian project, replanting along Faithful Creek (Northern Victoria, Goulburn Basin), March 2007.

(Photo: Paul Reich)

The Riparian Restoration Experiment is a long-term study into the effects of better habitat management. The project involves sites established in collaboration with landowners and catchment management authorities in northern Victoria and southern New South Wales. The riparian response to stock removal and restocking is monitored, and the data collected will support policy development relating to managing riparian zones.

A new program, Research Planning and Partnerships, aims to increase the effectiveness of MDBC investment in research by improving program outcomes through better management of research and partnerships.

Integrated Basin Reporting

During 2006–07, the Integrated Basin Reporting (IBR) team managed the pilot phase of the IBR framework and presented a report on the pilot to the MDBC in April 2007. A phased approach to the development of an IBR system over three years will address several challenges identified by the pilot.

The IBR will inform business and strategic planning processes by providing an integrated overview of the biophysical information held by the Commission, and highlighting outcomes and interactions, emerging issues and future priorities and directions.

Information and communications technology

Recommendations from a Risk Management Review of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Services undertaken in October 2006 implemented to date include:

  • an upgrade to the telephony system to utilise Voice Over Internet Protocol
  • upgrade to the internal data network to cater for increased requirements and performance expectations
  • enhanced spam-filtering capabilities to increased Internet connection efficiencies and minimise inconvenience to staff, and
  • continuous improvement of corporate applications for the finance, payroll and records management system functions.

The Commission’s information and communications technology (ICT) services supported the Commission’s successful office relocation to new premises, with minimal down time and impact on service. The move afforded the opportunity for updating the network infrastructure to include uninterruptible power supply in the server room, providing improved continuity of service.