Date of Award

2001

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Business (Hons.)

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Public Management

First Advisor

Colin Dolley

Abstract

This thesis is an evaluation of the environmental disclosures published in Australian local governments' annual reports. The study is aimed in identifying disclosures of environmental information by Australian local governments and providing explanations for the variations in the quantity and quality of information disclosed. Various social responsibility theories were used in this study. The theories employed in this study were institutional factors, stakeholder theory, social and political theories. Institutional factors included issues such as local government characteristics and pressures exerted from various government and non·government organizations to implement and disclose environmental measures. A content analysis methodology was used in this study. A modified indexing system adopted from Wisman (1982) was implemented in the course of the research. The study of I00 local governments' annual reports selected across Australia were used in the data analysis. The local governments' 1998-1999 annual reports included in the sample were randomly selected from a list of urban local governments made available in the university database. Statistical tests were used to test the hypotheses developed in this thesis. The results indicated that legislation had the most influence on the level of environmental information being disclosed by local governments, followed by the size and lastly, the type of the entity. This indicates that state regulations have a major impact on environmental initiatives and disclosures to be exercised.