Regionalism, regionalisation, and natural resource management

Regionalism, regionalisation, and natural resource management

Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsCampbell, CAndrew
Series TitleCRES Working Paper 1996/2
Keywordsbottom up, External, information, integration, natural resource management, Regional Australia, regionalisation, top down

A plethora of policies and programs have been developed by Commonwealth and State governments in an attempt to improve management of natural resources in rural Australia. Increasingly, it is accepted that the
regional level is the most appropriate scale at which to tackle many of the problems which have emerged. Arising from a short consultancy for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, this discussion paper attempts to make some sense of the mish-mash of regional activities. Stakeholders in natural resource
management and rural development at regional, state and national levels were interviewed, and key documents
reviewed, to provide a perspective on the state of play in sustainable regional natural resource management, focusing on the potential to improve integration of State and Commonwealth policies and programs. There are two predominant forces driving regional-level discourse and activities—regionalism and regionalisation, for which a short-hand notation could be bottom-up and top-down approaches, respectively. The values, assumptions and aspirations underpinning regionalism are quite different from those driving regionalisation of
government programs and services. How these differences are embraced and built in to policies and institutions will be extremely important in determining the persistence and influence of efforts to improve management of natural resources at a regional or landscape scale.


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