Non-point pollution, voluntarism and policy failure: Lessons for the Swan-Canning

Neil Gunningham , Darren Sinclair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the growing problem of non-point source pollution from agricultural enterprises and the failure of existing policy responses, which rely heavily on the use of information, education and voluntary programs. Drawing on both international and domestic experience, it argues that in the absence of a strong regulatory underpinning, or a system of positive and negative incentives, voluntarism has produced grossly inadequate environmental outcomes. The reasons for this are examined. This analysis is considered against the backdrop of the Swan-Canning river catchment, an area confronting substantial nutrient run-off, and the subject of a subsequent article where alternative policy options are explored.
Original languageEnglish
Article number21 EPLJ 93
Pages (from-to)93-104
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental and Planning Law Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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