Organizing regionally for natural resource management in Australia : reflections on agency and government
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by S Moore, Susan RockloffSusan Rockloff
The Australian Government is leading efforts to affect nationwide changes in how natural resources are managed, specifically the country’s agricultural areas and rangelands. The focus is organising regionally, with community-based groups planning for and managing the delivery of millions of dollars of resource management works. This paper analyses these arrangements from the ideal of democratic decentralisation, drawing on interviews with key informants in two Australian states (Victoria and Western Australia) and participant observation. Centring the analysis on representation, accountability, fairness and the secure transfer of power indicates that this ideal is far from being achieved. Although unachieved, opportunities for agency by local people exist and continue to develop. Given the strong directing roles of the Australian Government in these regionalising efforts, the paper concludes with comments about their potentially important role in progressing democratic decentralisation.