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Title: Implications for natural resource management of restructuring organisations: protecting community involvement
Contributor(s): Wright, Victor  (author); Keeble, Brigette (author); Higson, Megan (author)
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Abstract: At many levels of government there is regular consideration of the appropriateness of structures for engaging with communities in regard to the design and delivery of policy. Consideration of such matters naturally raises the issue of the appropriateness of more centralised management strategies. The purpose of the analysis in this paper was to identify, using economic and organisational analysis, predictable consequences for natural resource management (NRM) in Victoria of the centralisation of agencies and decision making. These consequences are of particular interest to the Department of Sustainability and Environment's Sustainable Irrigation Program (DSE SIP) and the Goulburn-Broken Catchment Management Authority's (GB CMA) Shepparton Irrigation Region Program because the Victorian Government has, since the establishment of catchment and land protection boards in 1994, followed a decentralised approach to NRM. Both Programs' value the role of regional and local knowledge in NRM which is demonstrated through partnerships with regional agencies and community representation on advisory bodies. The specific purpose of this analysis was to identify the potential strategic risks that a shift to a more centralised agency structure could pose to programs such as DSE SIP so that any such risks might be managed effectively. In the next section we briefly describe the motivation for considering the centralisation of NRM. We then analyse the challenges centralisation poses for maintaining community involvement in NRM, particularly in terms of information sharing and the motivation of landholders to change their behaviour so as to give effect to NRM policies. The analysis draws on economic, organisational and strategic management literatures. The implications of centralising agency structures in NRM are then discussed.
Publication Type: Working Paper
Field of Research (FOR): 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960704 Land Stewardship
HERDC Category Description: W Working Paper
Series Name: Service Design Research Working Paper
Series Number : 01-11
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