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Australian environmental and natural resource policy – from the Natural Heritage Trust to Caring for our Country

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  • Pannell, David J.

Abstract

The Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality were major national policies focused on land and water degradation and nature conservation in Australia. These programs fell a long way short of achieving their stated goals. It is proposed that to be able to spend their considerable public funds in cost effective ways, they would have needed a number of particular characteristics. Among other things, they needed to prioritise investments well, consistent with an appropriate role of government, and based on analyses that integrated good quality bio-physical and socio-economic information. They needed to select policy mechanisms that would be appropriate for the circumstances. The incentives created by program rules and procedures should have encouraged environmental managers responsible for program delivery to pursue environmental outcomes cost-effectively. However, the programs did not satisfy these criteria. Prospects for improving matters in the new national program, Caring for our Country, are discussed. It will be difficult to deliver outcomes cost-effectively in the new program for reasons that include capacity constraints in government agencies, time pressures on policy development, and political priorities of governments.

Suggested Citation

  • Pannell, David J., 2009. "Australian environmental and natural resource policy – from the Natural Heritage Trust to Caring for our Country," 2009 Conference (53rd), February 11-13, 2009, Cairns, Australia 47935, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare09:47935
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    Cited by:

    1. Star, Megan & Rolfe, John & Beutel, Terry & McCosker, Kev & Ellis, Robin & Coughlin, Tom, 2016. "Natural resource management planning: can more cost effective outcomes be achieved," 2016 Conference (60th), February 2-5, 2016, Canberra, Australia 235624, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    2. Rolfe, John & Windle, Jill, 2011. "Using auction mechanisms to reveal costs for water quality improvements in Great Barrier Reef catchments in Australia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 98(4), pages 493-501, February.

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    Keywords

    policy evaluation; policy mechanism choice; policy implementation;

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