The salinity crisis in Western Australia: a case of policy paralysis
Blackwell Publishers Ltd
Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
International, Cultural and Community Studies
This article focuses on the Court government’s development of a State Salinity Strategy during the 1990s which took nine years from the initial announcement to the final realease. Western Australia has 70 percent of the nation’s dryland salinity, a figure widely regarded as representing a potential environmental disaster with significant flow-on economic and social impacts. The paralysis that has surrounded decision-making on this issue is examined as a case study in the lack of effectiveness of government policy-making capacity on the environment. The shortcomings of the Salinity Strategy examined in the article include a lack of a leadership role for government, inadequate resourcing and weaknesses in the supporting institutional arrangements.