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APEN 2001 International Conference

Toowoomba, 4th-5th October 2001

Report No:


Title of Topic:

How do we Support Proactive Extension when Constantly Faced with Reactive Extension Pressure?

Name of Leader:

Pat Page

Names of Participants:

Sarah Hood, Scott Ledger, Glen Miller, Bob Armstrong, Jeremy Lemon, Sue Sorenson, Rachel Webster, Peter Tonello, Anita Chennell, Emily Tee, Julia Ferguson, Michelle Halloway

Main points of discussion

Issue: Sections of the community along with the service providers have identified a suite of pro-active extension that will return greater value to the whole community. Service providers are unable to deliver, or move toward providing for this service without managing current commitments to reactive extension.

Drivers: Natural variability in the community expectation of the role of the service providers. Variability in the understanding of service providers as to what their core business is.

Major outcomes (what have you achieved from this discussion; how can this make a difference; what else do you need to do?)

  • Managing the expectations of the community.
  • Proactive extension needs to be planned with the component of the community that often creates reactive demand, not just the component likely to be supportive.
  • Service providers being certain as to what their core business is, or organisational priorities need to be clear.
  • There has been some trends/attempts to transfer the responsibility to other organizations. There is uncertainty as to the success of such approaches.
  • There is some uncertainty as to whether proactive extension providers can efficiently provide good reactive extension.
  • Community expectations are often compounded by expectations from organisational management, politics and historical situations.
  • Reactive extension Planning.
  • Appreciation of the relationship between reactive and pro-active extension. Often proactive extension generates reactive demand. Plan to ensure that pro-active extension will generate reactive commitments. Designated ‘office days’ and call centre (QDPI). Review trends in reactive requirements on a seasonal/issues basis (WADOA) Self-help information provision and information centres (QDPI)
  • Nationally, there doesn’t appear to be a consistent review of alternatives to the supply of reactive extension.
  • Crisis and emergency response can derail proactive extension. There is a range of strategies to mitigate the impact, including a disaster management plan (QLD Public Health) scenario building in advance of possible emergencies (e.g. A disease outbreak in fisheries).

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