Effective Environmental Federalism? Australia's Natural Heritage Trust
Crowley, CM, Effective Environmental Federalism? Australia's Natural Heritage Trust, Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 3, (4) pp. 255-272. ISSN 1523-908X (2001) [Refereed Article]
This paper examines effective federalism in relation to the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT), now a AU$ 2.5 billion environmental policy initiative, and Australia's largest ever single environmental spending programme. In the absence of any other policy reviews or critiques, this paper is a descriptive and analytical piece, outlining and evaluating the NHT's administration, accountability measures and ecological outcomes against the goals of effective federalism. Effective federalism involves the national government seeking more efficient and effective delivery of environmental outcomes while revitalizing its partnerships with state and local governments to protect the environment. Both this term and the NHT are initiatives of the conservative national coalition government (which has been in office now since 1996) and have been implemented by its Environment Minister, Senator Hill. For the benefit of international readers, this paper places effective federalism in its historical context, and in the context of very familiar tensions for and against the devolution of environmental governance. It finds effective federalism to be an ambitious aim, indeed more so than the NHT's legislative goals of generating environmental investment and raising community awareness about the need for ecological sustainability. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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