Willows, floods and engaging with outrage

There was widespread flooding in north eastern Victoria in the 2010/11 summer and landowners believed that the flooding was made worse in places by the removal of willows by the CMA. A pubic outcry ensured in the early months of 2011. Willows have been used for generation of farmers in the belief they stabilise stream and river banks. In more recent times the Federal Government has designated willows as a weed of national significance. Kimbra White was engaged in mid 2011 to provide advice to the NE CMA on community engagement processes and to facilitate three series of meetings: the first series to hear from landowners in mid 2011, the second for landowners to learn about the findings of  some research on the topic commissioned by the CMA in late 2011 and a large forum that is planned for early 2012.