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Decentralisation and Environmental Management in Australia: a Comment on the Prescriptions of The Wentworth Group

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Abstract

The prescriptions of The Wentworth Group of scientists for delivering improved environmental management and remediation are reviewed against the backdrop of international experience with decentralisation. The Group's preferred means of implementation — here referred to as decentralised regionalism — is examined and shown to be idealised and therefore naive to its complexities and potential pitfalls. Five problem areas are highlighted: 1. defining a ‘region’; 2. power, conflict and community; 3. developing mechanisms for accountability; 4. subsidiarity, and 5. the tensions between democracy and technocracy
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Keywords: The Wentworth Group; decentral-isation; environmental management; regionalism

Document Type: Commentary

Affiliations: 1: The University of Adelaide 2: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Brisbane 3: Flinders University, South Australia

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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