Environmental regulation of agriculture in federal systems of government: The case of Australia

Evan Hamman, Felicity Deane, Amanda Kennedy, Anna Huggins, Zoe Nay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1478
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


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