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The quality of Australian regional NRM plans

posted on 2023-05-24, 04:46 authored by Michael LockwoodMichael Lockwood, Andrew HarwoodAndrew Harwood
Over the past two decades, regions have been the primary scale for Australian natural resource management (NRM) planning. From the mid-1990s, regional NRM bodies have been established in each Australian state and territory, and charged by governments with responsibility for preparing regional NRM plans and coordinating their implementation in partnership with local groups. The form of this “experiment with devolved NRM governance” (Lockwood, Davidson, Curtis, Stratford, & Griffith, 2009: 169) has evolved through a succession of Australian Government policy changes and been the subject of numerous reviews and analyses. Academics, independent reviewers and auditors have analyzed governance quality across this polycentric system of national, state, regional and local institutions, interrogated its effectiveness and recommended remedies for the problems that their investigations have uncovered. However, despite NRM plans being the key instrument for translating both government policy and community aspirations into strategies to guide implementation of NRM action, comparatively few analyses have examined the quality of these plans. In this chapter we develop a framework for undertaking such an analysis, and apply it to a sample of regional NRM plans from different policy regimes and jurisdictions. We identify the strengths and limitations of regional NRM plans and their capacity to fulfill their role as the key instrument for incorporating strategic direction into NRM practice.


Department of Environment and Energy (Cwth)


Publication title

The Routledge Handbook of Australian Urban and Regional Planning


N Sipe, K Vella






School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences


Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Place of publication




Rights statement

Copyright 2017 Taylor & Francis

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems

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