Hub governance will evolve from the NERP model to a more stakeholder engaged framework, with stronger cross-Hub interactions and enhanced linkages to key national initiatives such as Northern Australia Development, Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan, and the Indigenous Advancement Strategy. The NESP TWQ Hub is hosted by the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Ltd (RRRC), a consortium of research providers, key industry groups, and an independent Chair, Dr Ian Poiner.
Governance of the NESP TWQ Hub will include direct communication lines between the Hub Host (RRRC) and the six partner institutions, the Hub Leader (Dr Damien Burrows) and the Department of the Environment. The Independent Hub Steering Committee chaired by Leith Boully will report directly to the Department, and have open communication lines with the Hub Leader. Research results will be disseminated to stakeholders via strategic and quality controlled mechanisms, such as the Knowledge Brokering and Communications Plan, Indigenous Engagement and Participation Strategy, nominated Program Leaders, and Project associates.
The Hub Steering Committee provides strategic supervision over the Hub’s performance against its objectives. The roles, responsibilities and membership of the Steering Committee are outlined in its terms of reference, and include:
- Ensuring the alignment of research activity to the policy needs and interest of the Department and other key stakeholders;
connecting the Hub’s research questions, activities and outputs to relevant research activity and policy initiatives outside the Department.
- Overseeing the development and implementation of the Research Plan, including the review and amendment of the Research Plan, as required.
- Directing, and endorsing, the development, and delivery of any reporting, monitoring and evaluation requirements under this agreement.
- Review, monitor and guide project performance.
The Department of the Environment
The Department of the Environment has responsibility for managing the National Environmental Science Programme, including the approval of this Research Plan, assessment of progress of projects under this Research Plan and payment of any funding associated with the Hub agreement.
Importantly, the Department is the key end user of research under the NESP, and works closely with the Hub and other key stakeholders in determining and negotiating the delivery of research under the Research Plan.
The Minister for the Department of the Environment provided approval to fund the NESP TWQ Hub and is the sole delegate with authority to approve major changes to the scope and funding allocation to the Hub. The Minister will approve Version 1 of this Research Plan and endorse the subsequent annual versions of the Research Plan.