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During the past 15 years in New South Wales (NSW), recommendations in relation to catchment and water management policy have been progressively made by regionally-based committees with government and community representation. This represents a shift in responsibility for decision-shaping from being mainly dominated by government to a government-community partnership. It has resulted in the need to reassess the ways in which scientific findings and technical information are communicated to, and understood by, members of these committees to achieve sustainable outcomes. Two examples from the 2001-2002 water sharing planning process in NSW under the Water Management Act 2000 are compared, with a particular focus on the issues affecting water use. New approaches are outlined for the communication of scientific information to community-based decision-shapers. These include the tailoring of information to enhance members' understanding of the causal link between decisions and environmental outcomes and the incorporation of environmental costs and benefits in socio-economic evaluations of water use in coastal NSW.

Australian State of the Environment Committee, 2001 Australia State of the Environment 2001. Independent Report to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Heritage, CSIRO Publishing on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra.
Buckney, R. 1987. Three decades of habitat change: Kooragang Island, New South Wales. Pp. 227-232, Chapter 19, in Nature Conservation, the Role of Remnants of Native Vegetation edited by D. A. Saunders, G. W. Arnold, A. A. Burbidge and A. J. M. Hopkins. Surrey, Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton NSW.
Bunn, S. E. and Arthington, A. H. 2002. Basic principles and ecological consequences of altered flow regimes for aquatic biodiversity. Environmental Management 30(4): 492-507.
Department of Land and Water Conservation, NSW. 2002 Department of Land and Water Conservation Annual Report 2001-02. DLWC, Sydney.
Environment Protection Authority, NSW. 2000 State of the Environment 2000. Environment Protection Authority, NSW, Sydney.
Gillanders, B. M. and Kingsford, M. J. 2002. Impact of changes in flow of freshwater on estuarine and open coastal habitats and the associated organisms. Oceanography and Marine Biology: an Annual Review 2002 40: 233-309.
Glaister, J. P. 1978. The impact of river discharge on distribution and production of the school prawn Metapenaeus macleayi (Haswell) (Crustacea: Penaeidae) in the Clarence River region, northern New South Wales. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. 29: 311-323.
Harris, J. H. and Gehrke, P. C. 1997 Fish and Rivers in Stress: The NSW Rivers Survey. NSW Fisheries Office of Conservation and the Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology, Cronulla. 298 pp.
Healthy Rivers Commission of New South Wales. 1998 Independent Inquiry into the Hawkesbury-Nepean River System - Final Report. HRC, Sydney.
Healthy Rivers Commission of New South Wales. 2002 Independent Inquiry into the Hunter River System - Final Report. HRC, Sydney.
Kingsford, R. T. and Thomas, R. F. 1995. The Macquarie marshes in arid Australia and their waterbirds: a 50-year history of decline. Environmental Management 19: 867-878.
Loneragan, N. R. and Bunn, S. E. 1999. River flows and estuarine ecosystems: implications for coastal fisheries from a review and case study of the Logan River, southeast Queensland. Australian Journal of Ecology 24: 431-440.
Manley, F. S. 1963 Newcastle Harbour - Hydrographical History. Report No. 102, Department of Public Works, Harbours and Rivers Branch, Hydraulic and Soils Laboratory, Manly. 35 pp. plus appendices.
Nell, J. A. and Dunkley, P. R. 1984. The effects of temperature and nutrition factors and salinity on uptake of l-methionine by the Sydney rock oyster Saccostrea commercialis. Marine Biology 80: 335-339.
Peirson, W. L., Nittim, R., Chadwick, M. J., Bishop, K. A. and Horton, P. R. 2001. Assessment of changes to saltwater/freshwater habitat from reductions in flow to the Richmond River estuary, Australia. Water Science and Technology 43(9): 89-97.
Pickthall, J., Williams, R. J., Adam, P. and Connolly, D. In press. Estuarine vegetation. Part 3 in Sharing the Catchments of Southern Sydney; Biodiversity of the Georges River Catchment; Volume 3 - Aquatic Biodiversity (eds. R. J. Williams, A. Bryant and D. Ledlin). Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources, Sydney.
Recher, H. F., Hutchings, P. A. and Rosen, S. 1993. The biota of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment: reconstruction and restoration. Australian Zoologist. 29: 3-41.
Ruello, N. V. 1973. The influence of rainfall on the distribution and abundance of the school prawn Metapenaeus macleayi in the Hunter region (Australia). Marine Biology 23: 221-228.
Saintilan, N. 1998. Photogrammetric survey of the Tweed River wetlands. Wetlands (Australia) 17: 74-82.
Saintilan, N. and Williams, R. J. 1999. Mangrove transgression into saltmarsh environments in south-east Australia. Global Ecology and Biography 8: 117-124.
Schlacher, T. A. and Wooldridge, T. H. 1996. Ecological responses to reductions in freshwater supply and quality in South Africa's estuaries: lessons for management and conservation. Journal of Coastal Conservation 2: 115-130.
Van Bueren, M. and Bennett, J. 2000 Estimating Community Values for Land and Water Degradation Impacts. Report prepared for the National Land and Water Resources Audit, Unisearch Ltd, University of New South Wales, Canberra.
West, R. J. 1993. Estuarine fisheries resources of two south eastern Australian rivers. Ph.D. Thesis, School of Biological Science, University of New South Wales.
West, R. J., Thorogood, C. A., Walford, T. R. and Williams, R. J. 1985. An estuarine inventory for New South Wales, Australia. Fisheries Bulletin 2. Department of Agriculture New South Wales. 140 pp.
Williams, R. J., Watford, F. A. and Balashov, V. 2000. Kooragang Wetland Rehabilitation Project: History of changes to estuarine wetlands of the lower Hunter River. NSW Fisheries Final Report Series No. 22. Cronulla, 82 pp.
Zann, L. 1996. The coastal zone: an introduction. In: State of the Marine Environment Report for Australia. Technical Summary. Ocean Rescue 2000, Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra, pp.2-8.
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References

Australian State of the Environment Committee, 2001 Australia State of the Environment 2001. Independent Report to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Heritage, CSIRO Publishing on behalf of the Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra.
Buckney, R. 1987. Three decades of habitat change: Kooragang Island, New South Wales. Pp. 227-232, Chapter 19, in Nature Conservation, the Role of Remnants of Native Vegetation edited by D. A. Saunders, G. W. Arnold, A. A. Burbidge and A. J. M. Hopkins. Surrey, Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton NSW.
Bunn, S. E. and Arthington, A. H. 2002. Basic principles and ecological consequences of altered flow regimes for aquatic biodiversity. Environmental Management 30(4): 492-507.
Department of Land and Water Conservation, NSW. 2002 Department of Land and Water Conservation Annual Report 2001-02. DLWC, Sydney.
Environment Protection Authority, NSW. 2000 State of the Environment 2000. Environment Protection Authority, NSW, Sydney.
Gillanders, B. M. and Kingsford, M. J. 2002. Impact of changes in flow of freshwater on estuarine and open coastal habitats and the associated organisms. Oceanography and Marine Biology: an Annual Review 2002 40: 233-309.
Glaister, J. P. 1978. The impact of river discharge on distribution and production of the school prawn Metapenaeus macleayi (Haswell) (Crustacea: Penaeidae) in the Clarence River region, northern New South Wales. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. 29: 311-323.
Harris, J. H. and Gehrke, P. C. 1997 Fish and Rivers in Stress: The NSW Rivers Survey. NSW Fisheries Office of Conservation and the Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology, Cronulla. 298 pp.
Healthy Rivers Commission of New South Wales. 1998 Independent Inquiry into the Hawkesbury-Nepean River System - Final Report. HRC, Sydney.
Healthy Rivers Commission of New South Wales. 2002 Independent Inquiry into the Hunter River System - Final Report. HRC, Sydney.
Kingsford, R. T. and Thomas, R. F. 1995. The Macquarie marshes in arid Australia and their waterbirds: a 50-year history of decline. Environmental Management 19: 867-878.
Loneragan, N. R. and Bunn, S. E. 1999. River flows and estuarine ecosystems: implications for coastal fisheries from a review and case study of the Logan River, southeast Queensland. Australian Journal of Ecology 24: 431-440.
Manley, F. S. 1963 Newcastle Harbour - Hydrographical History. Report No. 102, Department of Public Works, Harbours and Rivers Branch, Hydraulic and Soils Laboratory, Manly. 35 pp. plus appendices.
Nell, J. A. and Dunkley, P. R. 1984. The effects of temperature and nutrition factors and salinity on uptake of l-methionine by the Sydney rock oyster Saccostrea commercialis. Marine Biology 80: 335-339.
Peirson, W. L., Nittim, R., Chadwick, M. J., Bishop, K. A. and Horton, P. R. 2001. Assessment of changes to saltwater/freshwater habitat from reductions in flow to the Richmond River estuary, Australia. Water Science and Technology 43(9): 89-97.
Pickthall, J., Williams, R. J., Adam, P. and Connolly, D. In press. Estuarine vegetation. Part 3 in Sharing the Catchments of Southern Sydney; Biodiversity of the Georges River Catchment; Volume 3 - Aquatic Biodiversity (eds. R. J. Williams, A. Bryant and D. Ledlin). Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources, Sydney.
Recher, H. F., Hutchings, P. A. and Rosen, S. 1993. The biota of the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment: reconstruction and restoration. Australian Zoologist. 29: 3-41.
Ruello, N. V. 1973. The influence of rainfall on the distribution and abundance of the school prawn Metapenaeus macleayi in the Hunter region (Australia). Marine Biology 23: 221-228.
Saintilan, N. 1998. Photogrammetric survey of the Tweed River wetlands. Wetlands (Australia) 17: 74-82.
Saintilan, N. and Williams, R. J. 1999. Mangrove transgression into saltmarsh environments in south-east Australia. Global Ecology and Biography 8: 117-124.
Schlacher, T. A. and Wooldridge, T. H. 1996. Ecological responses to reductions in freshwater supply and quality in South Africa's estuaries: lessons for management and conservation. Journal of Coastal Conservation 2: 115-130.
Van Bueren, M. and Bennett, J. 2000 Estimating Community Values for Land and Water Degradation Impacts. Report prepared for the National Land and Water Resources Audit, Unisearch Ltd, University of New South Wales, Canberra.
West, R. J. 1993. Estuarine fisheries resources of two south eastern Australian rivers. Ph.D. Thesis, School of Biological Science, University of New South Wales.
West, R. J., Thorogood, C. A., Walford, T. R. and Williams, R. J. 1985. An estuarine inventory for New South Wales, Australia. Fisheries Bulletin 2. Department of Agriculture New South Wales. 140 pp.
Williams, R. J., Watford, F. A. and Balashov, V. 2000. Kooragang Wetland Rehabilitation Project: History of changes to estuarine wetlands of the lower Hunter River. NSW Fisheries Final Report Series No. 22. Cronulla, 82 pp.
Zann, L. 1996. The coastal zone: an introduction. In: State of the Marine Environment Report for Australia. Technical Summary. Ocean Rescue 2000, Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra, pp.2-8.
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