The regulation of environmental impacts from agriculture can take place at various scales. In some nations, with federal systems of government, the multiscale nature of regulatory interventions can be confusing for farmers, not to mention costly and time-consuming to navigate. Regulatory overlap contributes to inefficiency and wastage in governance efforts, reduced trust in government action and can preclude positive environmental outcomes across the landscape. In this article, we explore how Australia’s national-level law has been applied to agricultural land use. We canvas the concepts of regulatory complexity and ambiguity, and argue for a more integrated and flexible policy mix that rewards positive behaviour and stewardship of natural capital. This model would provide financial and other personal gains for those who can demonstrate objectives are being met. Further empirical research on fine-tuning that policy mix, again across scale, is warranted.