Evidentiary Pty Ltd and the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) undertook a rapid systematic style review of evidence of the benefits to landholders of undertaking a range of riparian works resulting in direct on farm or individual landholder benefits. The review aimed to increase the confidence of delivery organisations such as Catchments Management Authorities (CMAs) in promoting the benefits of riparian works such as combinations of fencing, off-stream water, grazing management, re-vegetation and weed control.
While the benefits of different types of riparian works for landholders are commonly reported in CMA, government agency and agricultural organisation’s fact sheets, the evidence underpinning this information can be unreliable and based on anecdote rather than being based on studies with transparent and reliable methodologies. The review confirmed confidence in some benefits such as the stock production benefits of the provision of high quality off stream water, enhanced visual amenity, increased land values and enhanced well-being for landholders from riparian re-vegetation and other works. Evidence for other commonly reported benefits was poor or inconclusive.
If sound policy is to be developed for riparian management, it must be informed by reliable and up to date evidence that is relevant to scales of management adoption.