The search for policy coherence : Australian regional governance in a federal framework, 1996-2007

  • Helen Swan

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Governing for sustainability creates complexities and challenges for governments and communities. In turn, there are calls for more effective forms of regional governance and renewed efforts in seeking to harmonise and integrate social, economic and environmental imperatives. This new context necessitates a re-examination of coherence as a foundation for policy development and implementation. The task of this thesis is to examine ways of governing for coherence and sustainability in a regional context in the Australian Federal Government policy framework. The time frame of the study is post World War II (WWII) with a specific focus on the period 1996 to 2007. The study has undertaken desk-based research and consultation comprising in-depth interviews and focus groups. Two case studies of New South Wales and the Riverina region are used to examine both policy and operational issues regarding regional governance. Overseas cases, using experience from the United Kingdom and the European Union, have also been examined and analysed with regard to regional governance strengths and weaknesses. The contribution this study makes is to show how greater policy coherence can be created as a step towards more sustainable outcomes for regional communities across the nation. The specific contribution of this research is in creating a model of policy coherence which responds to the federated form of governance which has shaped Australian experience, practice and existing policy on regional governance. In particular, this model provides a means to focus policy development by incorporating both horizontal and vertical approaches to joining up government and offers the potential for the development of a nationally consistent approach to regional governance in Australia.
    Date of Award2009
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorChristopher Sadlier (Supervisor), Alan JARMAN (Supervisor) & Anni Dugdale (Supervisor)

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