House of Representatives Committees

Inquiry into public good conservation


The committee tabled its report Public good conservation: Our challenge for the 21st century - inquiry into public good conservation Impact of environmental measures imposed on landholders in September 2001. A copy of the full report ( PDF 597KB) or individual chapters and other sections of the report are available in pdf and word format or from Government Info Shops (Cat. no. 01 11969 8).

(To view or print the pdf documents, you will require the Acrobat Reader®, which can be downloaded free of charge from Adobe®.)

List of recommendations (PDF 21KB) or (Word format 38KB)

List of submissions or (PDF 21KB)

Transcripts of public hearings

22/08/00 Melbourne
04/09/00 Canberra
11/09/00 Brisbane
04/10/00 Canberra
09/10/00 Canberra
11/10/00 Canberra
20/11/00 Sydney
20/02/01 Perth
22/02/01 Adelaide
05/03/01 Canberra

Media releases

Government Response: to date there has been no Government response to the Committee's report.

Table of contents of report: Public good conservation: Our challenge for the 21st century

Foreword      (PDF 51KB) or (Word format 87KB)

Membership of the Committee      (PDF 51KB) or (Word format 87KB)

Terms of reference      (PDF 51KB) or (Word format 87KB)

List of abbreviations      (PDF 51KB) or (Word format 87KB)

List of recommendations     (PDF 51KB) or (Word format)

1 Overview ............1      (PDF 40KB) or (Word format 75KB)

Inquiry background
Conduct of inquiry
Relationship to Co-ordinating catchment management
Structure of the report

2 Policy ideas and framework for public good conservation ..............15      (PDF 127KB) or (Word format 165KB)

Who manages the land?
What is public good conservation?
Is the distinction between public and private goods useful?
Property rights
Duty of care
What is a duty of care for the environment?
The limits of a landholder's duty of care
Difficulties with a legislated duty of care based on the common law
Ideas in action Cost sharing principles

3 Impact on landholders of public good conservation measures .............. 57      (PDF 43KB) or (Word format 75KB)

Cost of programs to landholders
Impact on property value
Access to finance
Uncertainty surrounding a landholder's land-use rights
An alternative view

4 Public good conservation measures abroad ..............69      (PDF 70KB) or (Word format 106KB)

The European Union
Result of the 1992 reforms of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
Agenda 2000 Reform of the CAP and additional agri-environment measures
Other European Union support programs
Agri-environment schemes in England
Agri-environment schemes in the United States
Opportunities for non-government contribution
The United States
England and the United Kingdom
Taxation arrangements
Legislative and regulatory approaches

5 The policy foundations of public good conservation ..............91       (PDF 106KB) or (Word format 140KB)

Limitations of the current policy approach as perceived by some landholders
Is there sufficient knowledge to implement cost - sharing systems?
Does a landholder's own self-interest provide a sufficiently motivating reason?
Is the current approach to cost sharing an effective policy?
Does current policy accurately reflect the nature of land use?
Do international agreements preclude outcome-oriented natural systems management policies?
Should incentives be used to promote conservation activities?
Do current policy approaches acknowledge existing public good conservation activities by landholders?
Do current policy approaches contain incentives that lead to inappropriate land management practices?
Do current policy approaches contain inequities?

6 Policy initiatives for public good conservation programs ..............127      (PDF 187KB) or (Word format 241KB)

Appropriate policy principles for public good conservation
Principle 1: Landholder rights in respect of land use
Principle 2: All land holders have a duty of care to manage land in an ecologically sustainable manner
Principle 3: Policies and programs must focus on outcomes
Principle 4: Repairing past damage is a shared responsibility
Principle 5: All programs must be tailored to the needs of the circumstances
Principle 6: All programs must be based on the latest and best scientific data
Specific policy initiatives
Provide incentives to undertake public good conservation activities
Provide transition assistance to ecologically sustainable forms of production and management
Pay management costs when land is removed from production for public good conservation reasons
Effective assistance for ongoing land management costs
Where land use is removed altogether, pay compensation
Reform taxation laws, state and local charges to remove anomalies
Foster ecologically sustainable industries
Develop legislative structures
Develop market mechanisms only where appropriate
Provide access to finance


Appendix A - List of Submissions ..............193      (PDF 21KB) or (Word format 52 KB)

Appendix B - List of Exhibits ..............203      (PDF 15KB) or (Word format 47KB)

Appendix C - List of Public Hearings ..............207      (PDF 21KB) or (Word format 51KB)

Appendix D - Inspections and discussions ..............215      (PDF 14KB) or (Word format 42KB)

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