Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Law


The sustainable management of private agricultural land requires a shift in the approach to decision making about natural resources, improved regulation and better integration. There has been substantial legal reform in the area of natural resource management over the last ten years. This reform is particularly evident in the introduction of legal processes for catchment and water planning. Catchment and water planning is concerned with both setting 'management' priorities and generating 'rules' in relation to access to natural resources. Planning in this context can be viewed as both a process and a product. In broad terms the planning process involves the collection and analysis of environmental, economic and social data and consultation with the community about both needs and means to achieve change. The product i.e. plans, specify parameters, priorities, rules, implementation tools and review mechanisms. This research involved an analysis of the legal and administrative arrangements for catchment and water planning in South Australia and New South Wales and a review of its implementation in two coastal catchments i.e. the Onkaparinga (SA) and the Southern (NSW). The specific questions addressed were: Do these arrangements facilitate sustainable management? Are they resulting in better regulation? and Is there an increase in the level of integration? The literature on sustainability was examined to help define the key elements of a planning framework. This formed the basis for the analysis of the catchment and water planning legislation. Regulatory theory literature was examined to provide a further framework for analysis. This is a study of the 'law in context'. The case study method was used.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.