Deliberative participation, environmental law and collaborative governance

Insights from surface and groundwater studies

Cameron Holley, Darren Sinclair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


Despite major reforms in water management, many water resources are still over-exploited and under threat. Hard questions are accordingly being asked as to whether present legal and governance tools are providing adequate answers to Australia's pressing water problems. Of particular concern is the need to improve community engagement in water law and governance. Responding to these concerns, this article draws on 68 interviews and a survey of community and government stakeholders involved in three different collaborative decision-making processes designed to manage diffuse pollu- tion of local streams, dry land salinity and nutrient/sediment runoff, and groundwater overuse. The article explores and critically examines the internal dynamics of the decision-making processes, and provides a range of insights for policy and theory for designing meaningful and effective collaborative decision-making in the practice of governing water resources. The article also considers the implications of these collaborative approaches for our understanding of the modern regulatory state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-55
Number of pages24
JournalEnvironmental and Planning Law Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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