Environmental governance

Independent report to the Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Beeton RJS (Bob), Buckley Kristal I, Jones Gary J, Morgan Denise, Reichelt Russell E, Trewin Dennis
(2006 Australian State of the Environment Committee), 2006

11. Environmental governance

In this section

The role of institutions in Australia’s environmental governance is a crucial one, but it receives little public analysis. Governments, at all levels, public and private sector organisations, volunteer organisations, and regional boards and committees have all been mentioned throughout this report for their contribution to addressing environmental issues. The increase in spending on the environment by the Australian Government justifies an examination of these issues in a national report (Figure 38).

This is the first time that a national state of the environment report has examined the role of local government in environmental management. Particular attention is paid in this section to the shift of responsibility for natural resource and heritage management to a regional or municipal scale, and the increasing role of local government. The success of the EPBC Act in contributing to Australia’s environmental protection is also assessed.

Roles played by the business sector, the philanthropic sector, and conservation organisations in Australia have evolved over time and have intersected with the established conservation organisations that provided environmental activism and political energy to conservation during the past two decades. These new developments have been made possible because of an increasingly urbanised population in Australia which is receptive to newly articulated values for conservation management. Australia’s environment and heritage management will be enhanced by building partnerships among all levels of government and the community.