News from the Impact Assessment SIS committee | February

Published 20 Feb 2018 by Lachlan Wilkinson FEIANZ CEnvP, Chair IA SIS

The SIS Management Committee met by teleconference on 7 February. The committee welcomed new Deputy Chair, Jack Krohn MEIANZ, who has taken over from Claire Gronow FEIANZ CEnvP. The work program for the SIS is progressing well overall. 

  • The Uncertainty Working Group is considering how uncertainty is addressed in impact assessment and how this can be improved. This group was active under the leadership of Claire Gronow in compiling information on how uncertainty is addressed in impact assessment processes across Australia and New Zealand. Not surprisingly, they found it to be quite patchy. Jack Krohn has agreed to take over Claire's role given her departure and it is expected this group will become active again shortly. 
  • Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Group -  The co-conveners of the group - Rachel Maas, Louise Bochner and Sheridan Coakes - have been busy developing the governance arrangements and a draft work program for the group. They have already surveyed members of the broader SIA Group as input to the draft program. The first meeting of the SIA Group was held on 13 February and it's clear there is plenty of interest and enthusiasm in promoting good practice in SIA. The group also provided input to a submission from the SEQ and FNQ Divisions of EIANZ on draft SIA guidelines in Queensland. The submission is available here. Contact sia@eianz.org if you want to be involved with this group.
  • Impact Assessment Practitioner’s Symposium - The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Group has been preparing case studies and information on SEA across Australia and New Zealand. However, over the last couple of months, the focus of the group has been on the symposium, recently held in Melbourne (15 - 16 February). Day one of the symposium focused more generally on strategic approaches in impact assessment, including SEA. There was an excellent line-up of speakers highlighting different perspectives with the day concluding with a facilitated workshop to help to set the future work program for the SEA Group. Day two of the symposium considered how the interaction between impact assessment practitioners and researchers can be improved. Progress to date has been limited but following on from the outcomes of the symposium, we hope we can shortly get this group going again on a few practical initiatives. The response to the symposium was excellent with the first day fully booked at around 70 participants. 
  • International Association for Impact Assessment conference -  We are continuing to progress the organisation of this conference to be held Brisbane in April/May next year. One focus for the organising committee has been getting ready to promote the conference at this year's conference in Durban in May, with a booth and a presentation in the closing plenary. Watch out for our promotional video which will be launched at the Durban conference! With just over a year to go, we are commencing the transition to the full organisational structure with committees for the technical program, local and logistics arrangements, sponsorship and marketing.
  • Guidelines for proponents in selecting an environmental consultant - The committee is developing a guideline which recognises how critical this is ensuring high quality work. The guidelines will shortly be made available on the website and feedback will be welcomed.

The SIS is currently revising its business plan for the next year. If you have any ideas on work you think the SIS should do, or if you wish to be involved in any of the above work, please contact ia@eianz.org