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A ‘champion’ model for driving change. Karen Cosson Litter Champion for the Victorian Litter Action Alliance. Melbourne 27 May 2004. Victorian Litter Action Alliance.

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a champion model for driving change
A ‘champion’ model for driving change

Karen Cosson

Litter Champion for the Victorian Litter Action Alliance

Melbourne 27 May 2004

victorian litter action alliance
Victorian Litter Action Alliance

The Victorian approach to litter prevention is unique in Australia. Its emphasis on coordinating litter reduction activities through a peak body incorporating government and non-government sectors means:

  • Gaps in the state's litter reduction activities are identified
  • Overlaps are minimised
  • Information sharing between VLAA's member agencies is maximised
litter champion project
‘Litter Champion’ Project

To progress best practice litter prevention for the state, VLAA appointed a litter champion in April 2002.

A best practice approach aims to:

  • Strengthen the ability of stakeholders, particularly local government, to take action to reduce and eliminate litter
overall aim
Overall aim

To build the capacity of councils to implement programs that change littering behaviour

3 objectives
3 objectives
  • Produce a best practice litter prevention kit (in modules)
  • Market the kit across the state (to ensure implementation)
  • Raise the profile of litter
  • Community
  • Media
  • Decision-makers
victorian priorities
Victorian priorities

Determined after consultation with stakeholders including VLAA members, RWMGs, local government, other bodies 

  • cigarette butts
  • building sites
  • dog poo
  • bill posters
  • illegal dumping
  • ATM litter
  • fishing litter
  • charity bins
best practice
Best practice
  • Research – understanding the problem
  • Education – explaining the problem
  • Enforcement – reinforcing the message
  • Infrastructure – the tools to change
  • Incentives – persuading people to change
  • Working together – building community support
  • Good communication – every step of the way
  • Monitoring & evaluation – what we have achieved
victorian landscape in 2002
Victorian landscape in 2002
  • Sense of ‘resignation’ that nothing can be done / litter seen as ‘normal’
  • No driver for the state
  • However, a few leading councils
  • Piecemeal approaches
  • Proliferation of local isolated programs trying to deal with issues shared across the state
landscape 2002 cont
Landscape 2002 (cont.)

Few resources available (or widely known)

Lack of knowledge of:

  • What works
  • How to do it
  • How much it costs

Leads to:

  • Much reinventing the wheel
  • Inefficient use of resources
litter prevention kits12
Litter Prevention Kits

This best practice ‘kit’:

  • Is a series of capacity development programs
  • Provides a legacy of tools & knowledge in best practice programs for litter management in Victoria.
delivery dissemination
Delivery & dissemination

Summits & events

  • A very effective model for capacity development
  • Demonstrate what the project can best do in terms of setting the agenda for litter:
    • Engaging a wide range of stakeholders
    • Motivating people to implement programs in their area
everyday role
Everyday role

The litter champion also:

  • Steers the process of implementation for the state
  • Raises the profile of litter within the whole community
  • Partnerships are a key
what a difference a champion makes
What a difference a champion makes!

The model, providing a dedicated litter officer for the state, has significantly progressed best practice litter prevention in Victoria.

Overcomes the previous barriers of:

  • A lack of coordination
  • Serious gaps in best practice programs
  • Focus on ‘end of pipe’ solutions
key success factors
Key success factors

The litter champion represents VLAA (all its members):

  • Cross-sector buy-in
  • Litter IS the core work
  • Strategic planning
  • Coordination
  • Accountability
  • Advocacy
  • Built motivation and interest in litter prevention programs across the state
  • A huge body of knowledge & networks
  • Increased linkages
  • Value added existing partnerships & programs
  • Forged new partnerships
  • Distribution of >500 copies of each kit on CD-ROM, building sites 2nd Ed
  • First ever dedicated litter website
  • A coordinated approach to litter prevention for specific items
  • Increased uptake of programs
    • e.g. ‘butts’ > 70% of councils
  • Extension of the two-year project
  • Absence of cost benefit analysis for litter prevention
  • One person for the entire state
  • Limited budget
  • Lack of statewide advertising program with dollars behind it
  • Bottom driven change – takes longer?
  • Lack of formal rigorous evaluation – do best practice principles for behaviour change work for each issue &/or location
  • Enforcement as a tool is under utilised despite strengthening of legislation in 2002
  • Lack of research in some areas e.g. dumping – barrier to progress
the way forward
The way forward
  • Improved data collection so that we actually know how much litter costs us
  • Cost benefit (TBL) analysis for litter prevention
  • Research in critical areas
  • New shared way of looking at litter
  • Time for another quantum leap to build on the momentum e.g. this conference!

kcosson@litter.vic.gov.au 03 9653 6943

website: www.litter.vic.gov.au

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