The salinity crisis in Western Australia: a case of policy paralysis
Blackwell Publishers Ltd
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of 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.