Interest groups and (re-)establishing stability in policy making: The case of the nsw farmers' association and the native vegetation conservation act
Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
International, Cultural and Community Studies
This article examines the response of the New South Wales Farmers' Association (NSWFA) to the Native Vegetation Conservation Act in NSW. Given the State government's decision initially to impose, without prior consultation with the Association, a regulation limiting farmers' activities on private land, the Association's response occurred in the context of efforts by policy makers to reconstitute a pattern of stable policy making. The case is particularly interesting because the efforts at re-establishing stability included a mix of a peak interest-group forum and regional policy-making committees. The difficulty that the Association had in influencing the emerging native-vegetation-management policy agenda reflects its inability to secure member compliance, which was necessary to enable it to operate effectively in these new arenas. The article offers a range of explanations to explain the absence of member compliance and explores the broader implications for interest-group analysis.