Regulating intensive agricultural pollution

Neil Gunningham, Darren Sinclair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


After considerable success in reducing water pollution from large industrial point-sources, regulators have begun to consider the contribution of more elusive but no less significant sources. These include small- and medium-sized enterprises, domestic residences and the agricultural sector. This article focuses on intensive agriculture and the means by which policymakers can best utilise regulation and other policy instruments. Intensive agricultural enterprises have particular characteristics that distinguish them from agricultural non-point-sources, and as such, demand a unique policy approach. We consider how such policies can be advanced in the context of the Swan-Canning River in Western Australia. In particular, we identify a sector-specific approach that integrates a range of performance, technology and process standards, in combination with the selected application of subsidies. Finally, we address the respective roles of government, industry and third parties. Key findings are for a combination of tailored, sector specific standards, targeted inspection and enforcement, industry cooperation and engagement and for the judicious application of supply-chain pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-231
Number of pages11
JournalAustralasian Journal of Environmental Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


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