Environmental Policy Failure: The Australian Story

Overview

Environmental Policy Failure: The Australian Story proves Australia’s environment is under unprecedented stress, which is now all too real in terms of problems such as rising sea levels, catastrophic bush fires, drought and dying river systems.

This book argues that this stress is more than a failure of environmental management, and indeed more even than a failure of political will, although that has been critical. It is a failure of policy on many fronts rooted in the failure ...

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Overview

Environmental Policy Failure: The Australian Story proves Australia’s environment is under unprecedented stress, which is now all too real in terms of problems such as rising sea levels, catastrophic bush fires, drought and dying river systems.

This book argues that this stress is more than a failure of environmental management, and indeed more even than a failure of political will, although that has been critical. It is a failure of policy on many fronts rooted in the failure of development practices to integrate ecological sensitivities and concerns. What is more, this failure is long standing, and remains steeped in two hundred years of Eurocentric valuing of nature in economic terms rather than as ecological capital.

This book reviews some of Australia’s most critically challenging environmental issues of our time and assesses the capacity of contemporary policies to solve them. It reveals, case by case, the nature of environmental policy failure, as a characteristic failure for example of both Labor and conservative governments across many generations. It is relatively clear then why Australia’s energy emissions have been burgeoning and why there has been no industrial restructuring over the last two decades to reverse this now dire trend.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780734611406
  • Publisher: Tilde University Press
  • Publication date: 8/15/2011
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

KATE CROWLEY is Associate Professor in Public Policy at the School of Government, University of Tasmania, has published extensively on environmental politics and policy, and is co-editor with K.J. Walker of Australian Environmental Policy 2: Studies in Decline and Devolution.

KJ WALKER is an independent researcher, and according to one reviewer, he "pioneered the study of environmental politics in Australia'. He has taught at Melbourne, Monash, Flinders, Adelaide, Case Western Reserve, Cleveland State, Griffith, Queensland, and Macquarie Universitites, and from the mid-1970s, he developed and taught ground-breaking interdisiplinary courses in environmental policy and politics.

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Table of Contents

About the editors i

About the contributors ii

Foreword v

Preface vii

Chapter 1 Introduction KJ Walker Kate Crowley 1

Introduction 1

Facing environmental crisis 2

The wide brown land 3

The problem of ecology 5

Elements of policy success 7

About this book 8

Chapter 2 Australia's construction of environmental policy KJ Walker 11

Introduction 11

Statist developmentalism 13

Challenges to statist developmentalism 20

Transforming policy 25

Chapter 3 Climate policy failure Kate Crowley 29

Introduction 29

The climate problem in context 30

ETS policy efforts 33

Australian efforts 34

Labor's CPRS 35

ETS politics 37

Conclusions 41

Chapter 4 Lost energy policies, opportunities and practice Mark Diesendorf 44

Introduction 44

Energy policies of the Rudd-Gillard government 48

State and territory policies 52

Recommended policies 58

Discussion and conclusion 58

Chapter 5 Between markets and government Geoff Cockfield 60

Introduction 60

The development of NRM policies in Australia 62

Policy implementation and outcomes 66

NRM policy into the future 70

Conclusions 73

Chapter 6 Flailing about in the Murray-Darling basin Daniel Connell 74

Introduction 74

Foundation phase - early twentieth century 74

1980s - the second attempt to create a strong decision-making system 75

What went wrong? 76

2010 - the third attempt 78

Context for the current water reform program 79

The role of water markets 82

Public participation 83

Lateral options 84

Conclusions 86

Chapter 7 Disintegration or disinterest? Geoff Wescott 88

Introduction 88

Background to current coastal and marine policy in Australia 90

Coastal policy in Australia 90

Marine policy in Australia 94

Overview of current coastal and marine policy in Australia 97

The future for Australian coastal and marine policy 98

Conclusion 101

Chapter 8 Water privatisation Michael Buxton 102

Introduction 102

Institution-building 102

A new regime for water 104

Complexity and fragmentation 106

The move to a market-based system 107

Peri-urban water policy and use 111

Sectoral and cross-sectoral policy approaches 114

Conclusion 115

Chapter 9 Climate adaptation and the Australian system of government Michael Howes Aysin Dedekorkut-Howes 116

Introduction 116

The nature of the problem 116

The nature of Australian governments 119

Case study: The Gold Coast 122

Where to from here? 127

Conclusions 129

Notes and acknowledgements 130

Chapter 10 Catastrophic bushfire, politics and the public interest David Mercer 131

Introduction 131

'Risk' and the state 132

Natural disasters 133

Fire and the Australian environment 134

The 'normality' of bushfire and increasing vulnerability 135

Post-fire inquiries 137

Recent class actions 139

Hypercomplex crises 139

The February 2009 fires 140

Government responses 141

Timing 143

Fuel-reduction burning 144

Challenges and (missed) opportunities 144

Chapter 11 Boundless plains to share Mark O'Connor 146

Introduction 146

Is Australia a big country? 146

Extreme population growth? 149

Does population growth damage environments? 150

The human costs of population growth 152

Debating population: recent politics 154

An environmentally sound population policy? 157

Chapter 12 Australian ENGOs and government Joan Staples 160

Introduction 160

Pluralism, corporatism and public choice theory 162

The legacy of the Hawke and Howard years 168

Where NGO power lies 170

A co-operative alliance 171

Conclusions 172

Chapter 13 Conclusions Kate Crowley KJ Walker 174

Introduction 174

Australian stories 176

Studies in policy failure 178

Reluctant nation? 180

Towards policy success? 182

Afterword 185

Policy futures? 185

References 189

Index 221

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