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Title: Improved Legal and Institutional Arrangements for Peri-Urban Invasive Animal Management in Australia
Contributor(s): Nemane, Vivek  (author); Martin, Paul  (supervisor)orcid ; Low Choy, Darryl  (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2018-12-11
Copyright Date: 2018-06-28
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Abstract: Invasive species management is a key priority for Australia's biosecurity system because of the negative impacts of invasive species on primary industries, biodiversity and society. Despite financial and regulatory investments, the evidence indicates that urgent actions to control invasive animal species are needed, particularly in peri-urban areas of Australia.
Australia's biosecurity policy pursues a strategic approach for 'effective' control and management of invasive species. The strategic approach relies substantially on the potential of innovations to improve the control efficiency as part of a framework of shared responsibility with stakeholders. Despite legal requirements and policy guidelines to promote the use of innovations for invasive species management, the adoption and implementation of these innovations is impeded by multiple institutional challenges. The many overlapping urban and rural natural resource governance arrangements in peri-urban areas add to the institutional challenges for implementation.
This research examined how innovations for invasive animal management are implemented in the peri-urban context, by exploring peri-urban institutions. The complexity of institutions responsible for managing invasive species in peri-urban areas is a relatively under-examined area in legal scholarship. This thesis focussed on best practice as described in the Australian Pest Animal Management Strategy to consider the institutional elements that impede policy objectives.
The research employed an evidence-based policy approach to obtain a comprehensive view of peri-urban institutions relevant to invasive species management, using four inter-connected stages of evidence gathering. The conclusions are presented as hypotheses because, by their nature pure, deductive proof is not feasible given the very many variables that intersect. These hypotheses should guide invasive species policy makers in the design of more effective institutional arrangements.
In the first stage of the study, desktop research facilitated a broader understanding of institutions engaged in pest animal management.
In the second stage a scoping study helped develop preliminary hypotheses about institutional issues.
In the third stage, case studies in two Australian peri-urban jurisdictions provided data on peri-urban specific institutional issues that constrain front-line invasive animal control action, allowing the hypotheses to be refined. The institutional analysis led to the final hypotheses about peri-urban institutional impediments. The institutional analysis transcended traditional legal analysis, which tends to be focused around the legal instruments. It considered socio-political institutional elements, addressing institutional, political and risk based theories within an inter-disciplinary context. A small sample survey, conducted during the third stage of evidence gathering, further supported the hypotheses on peri-urban institutional impediments.
In the fourth stage, final results (obtained through the previous three stages of data gathering in this research) were compared with two recently conducted credible biosecurity policy reviews. The 'triangulation' of evidence further indicated the validity of hypotheses on peri-urban institutional impediments.
The research points to nine institutional impediments that constrain the implementation of innovations. The research argues that the national policy prescription of 'shared responsibility' hinges on an assumption of stakeholders' acceptance of innovations and compliance with the legal requirements. In practice, the idea of shared responsibility has not yet gained strong acceptance among participant stakeholders.
The study proposes recommendations for institutional innovations emphasising the use of multi-instrument strategies to improve implementation effectiveness. Importantly, it suggests that a deeper consideration of 'human-behavioural dimensions' is an indispensable element in addressing implementation risks. The evidence on institutional impediments in this study should stimulate further discourse to understand the gap between policy and practice for peri-urban invasive species management. The thesis encourages scholars and practitioners alike to reconceptualise their understandings of pest animal management processes with institutional impediments.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research (FoR): 050209 Natural Resource Management
180111 Environmental and Natural Resources Law
180199 Law not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 940110 Environmental Services
960411 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Urban and Industrial Environments
960403 Control of Animal Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Description: This thesis was awarded the Chancellor's Doctoral Research Medal.
Appears in Collections:School of Law
Thesis Doctoral

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