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Tasmania's Environmental Improvement Programs and the 'Brown Issues' - Environmental Accountability or Regulatory Capture?


Marsden, S and Gibson, KM and Hollingsworth, CC, Tasmania's Environmental Improvement Programs and the 'Brown Issues' - Environmental Accountability or Regulatory Capture?, Environmental And Planning Law Journal, 17, (1) pp. 24-33. ISSN 0813-300X (2000) [Refereed Article]


Many new regulatory systems have been developed in Australia to improve environmental management. If administrative structures are not also improved, issues of accountability may arise. Regulation and operations must be separate so that operators do not exercise undue influence over regulators. This may happen where aprivate operator is able to "capture" the regulator by influencing decisions in its favour, or where the operator and regulator are both public bodies. Whilst capture may be the more insidious problem, if independence is compromised neither body will be fully accountable. This article considers the potential for regulatory capture of State government regulators by local government operators. An exploratory, multi-disciplinary approach is taken to the use of the Environmental Improvement Programs by the sewage treatment industry in Tasmania. After considering the relevant literature and context, a case study is presented to illustrate the dangers of failing to design administrative structures that avoid the potential for capture. For environmental accountability, it is recommended that legislators provide for an independent environmental protection agency to oversee the operation of new regulatory systems.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Accounting, auditing and accountability
Research Field:Auditing and accountability
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Environmental policy, legislation and standards
Objective Field:Environmental policy, legislation and standards not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Marsden, S (Mr Simon Halstead Marsden)
UTAS Author:Gibson, KM (Ms Kathy Gibson)
UTAS Author:Hollingsworth, CC (Mr Carl Hollingsworth)
ID Code:18952
Year Published:2000
Deposited By:Accounting and Corporate Governance
Deposited On:2000-08-01
Last Modified:2001-03-19

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