The Central West Councils Environment & Waterways Alliance is a partnership of 18 Councils across Central West NSW, encompassing both the Central Tablelands and Central West Local Land Services (LLS) regions. The Alliance exists to improve environmental outcomes across the region.
To facilitate the operation of the Alliance, a Project Support Officer is employed to assist Councils with on-ground works, grant funding opportunities, project development and management and the organisation of Alliance meetings and capacity building events. This role is supported and complimented by relevant staff from both participating LLS regions.
In order to fund the operational costs of the Alliance, financial contributions are made by each member Council representing 50% of the total Alliance funding. The remaining 50% of funding is contributed equally by Central Tablelands LLS and Central West LLS who utilise the existing and functional Alliance format as their primary means of engagement with Local Government across their respective regions.
The member Councils have a long history of collaboration, dating back to 2000 when they first came together as the Salinity Action Alliance to tackle the emerging threat of salinity across the region. In 2007 the scope of the partnership was widened to take in the protection of waterways. This was achieved by partnering with the then newly formed Central West Catchment Management Authority to deliver sound and practical on-ground environmental outcomes. It was at this time that the group became known as the Salinity & Water Quality Alliance.
With the cessation of the Catchment Management Authorities across NSW in 2014 and their transition to Local Land Services, the existing Alliance region was broken into LLS regions. However, the group chose to remain as a single entity and to embrace the Councils that were now included within the new boundary structure.
In July 2015 it was decided that the group would change their name to the Environment & Waterways Alliance to better represent the priorities and outcomes of the partnership. Much of the focus of the group surrounds issues along waterways and rivers – Coxes, Fish, Macquarie, Castlereagh, Bogan, Lachlan, Cudgegong Rivers and their many tributaries.