Karen Toms Spring Hill September 9, 2015


We are currently in the starting stages of a CBSM program that aims to improve erosion and sediment control (ESC) implementation on residential building sites. We are at the 'Selecting Behaviours' stage and are having difficulty with the concept of breaking down the behaviours so that they are non-divisible. The reason being is that it is a legal requirement for building sites to install a number of controls to prevent sediment coming from their site (a single control is insufficient).

We are concerned that by focusing on the implementation of only one or two controls that we may be inadvertently sending a message that the other controls arent necessarily required. What we really want is for them to implement a suite of controls that comprises of a treatment train/ wholistic site management approach involving erosion protection, sediment control, drainage control, and waste management controls etc.

Government regulators in Queensland are moving towards outcome focused environmental compliance, that is they do not prescribe exactly which controls to use, as long as the outcome is achieved (in this case stormwater pollution is sufficiently prevented). This allows the building site manager choose controls relevant to their specific site. Guidelines are available to assist the site manager with this.

As part of this project we will also need to consider not only the multiple controls, but also the sequence of actions that needs to be undertaken to ensure each control is effective. These actions include site planning, communicating ESC requirements to staff/contractors, implementing the controls correctly, and maintaining the controls for the life of the project (eg removing accumulated sediment from controls after rain events etc).

I would therefore like to pose the question as to whether anyone else has been involved in a similar CBSM program that required a suite of controls/behaviours be undertaken to achieve an aim (particularly a regulatory aim). Or a project that has involved multiple sub-actions (eg planning, installing, monitoring and maintaining), to achieve an aim (eg erosion/sediment control is in place and working effectively). Is the CBSM methodology still doable if we choose to cluster these behaviours - for example into a single theme implementing ESC on a building site, and then examine the barriers and benefits of each behaviour that will result in this outcome? I believe it wont be too difficult to uncover the barriers and benefits to installing and maintaining each individual control as there are only about 10 controls that are typically used on a building site to reduce sediment pollution.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thank you

Karen Toms
Healthy Waterways