Pannell Discussions

No. 97, 9 April 2007

Regional environmental management in Australia

Australia's main policy programs for conservation of land, water and biodiversity are delivered by a set of 56 regional bodies. We have prepared a document describing how the institutional arrangements for these regional bodies vary, state by state.

The arrangements differ somewhat between different states and territories, even to the extent that there are different names for these bodies (Catchment Management Authorities in Victoria and New South Wales, a variety of names elsewhere).

There have been rapid and frequent changes in the arrangements and structures surrounding these bodies, including changes in the legislative powers of catchment management bodies, their responsibilities, their names, their reporting channels through government, and the names and structures of government agencies with which they must work. The rapidity of change can be gauged by the fact that a book chapter published in 2003 documenting catchment management institutional arrangements state by state (Ewing, 2003) was substantially out of date before the end of that year. 

We have just completed a document that provides a snapshot of current arrangements, state by state. For those of us trying to work with regional bodies in more than one state, this is a valuable document. Read it here, but do so quickly before the arrangements change again!

David Pannell, The University of Western Australia,

Further Reading

Pannell, D.J. Ridley, A., Seymour, E., Regan, P. and Gale, G. (2007). Regional natural resource management arrangements for Australian states: structures, legislation and relationships to government agencies, CRC for Plant-Based Management of Dryland Salinity, University of Western Australia, here (129k pdf file) 

p.s. 11 April 2007. Various respondents have emailed to advise us that we have to update the document to account for changes in NSW since the election just a few weeks ago. Itís hilarious really. We emphasised how quickly things change, but they changed even too quickly for us.

p.p.s. 23 April 2007. We have now updated the document.

Pannell Discussions are brief pieces on issues and ideas in economics, science, the environment, natural resource management, politics, agriculture and whatever else.

96.  Economic questions for environmental managers  2 Apr 2007

98.  Agricultural research for the poor  30 Apr 2007

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