Chapter 11: Environmental regulation in Australia: the failure of ‘wax and wane’ policies
In Australia environmental regulation is established and administered at three levels: federal, state and local. Federal legislation overrides or acts in conjunction with state laws, but the states are responsible for enforcing legislation. The states have the power to pass complementary legislation to ensure a successful implementation of federal legislation and to meet international protocols and treaties. For instance, the New South Wales (NSW) government has passed the Environment Operations Act and the Contaminated Land Management Act; South Australia and Queensland introduced the Environment Protection Act; and the Tasmanian government passed the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act. In 1992, a federal agency named Environment Australia was established to provide adequate structure for the implementation of federal regulation. On 14 September 2010 the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities was established to protect the environment and coordinate sustainable communities policy. This chapter examines the effectiveness of Australian environmental regulation in the post-January 2005 period. More specifically, we focus on the Kyoto Protocol, the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), the Prime Ministerial Task Group on Emissions Trading (Task Group), the Garnaut Climate Change Review, the carbon price two-stage approach, the Australian emissions trading scheme (ETS), the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI), the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET), the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) and the Direct Action Plan (DAP). Both international and domestic environmental events have shaped environmental regulation in Australia.
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