Water Policy

Water is a problem of policy.
Our Water Policy research focuses on the critical issues of water management in Australia. These go beyond the biophysical environment and beyond scientific and technical solutions. Our legal and policy research addresses the need to understand the social and economic causes of and solutions to policy failures. Through our research we seek to answer the vital questions of how to build, implement and evaluate more effective water policy.

We welcome you to join us in contributing to the future of Australia and our water systems.

Dr Robyn Bartel
Robyn Bartel is based in the Division of Geography and Planning at UNE. Robyn has science and law degrees, a University Medal in Geography and a Master of Higher Education from ANU and a PhD in environmental regulation from the University of Melbourne. Dr Bartel has been working in the field of environmental regulatory theory and legal geography for over ten years, is an active contributor to public inquiries and a founding member of AELERT, the Australian Environmental Law Enforcement and Regulators Network. Her empirical research evaluating the implementation of environmental law and models of regulatory efficacy has made a significant contribution to the field of environmental law and policy. Robyn's research encompasses regulation, regulatory agencies and the regulated, as well as the social, institutional and natural landscape in which all are situated.

Professor Paul Martin
Paul Martin is the Director of the Australian Centre for Agriculture and Law. His broader research interests are concerned with improved legal policy, spanning both social and environmental justice and increased efficiency. He serves on the NSW Premier's E10 Taskforce. Previous work has considered natural resource management using markets, regulation, taxation and voluntarism. Paul's research addresses the design of tax effective and efficient investment structures for conservation investment; behaviour and regulation and market instruments and innovation in the integrated use of markets, regulation, taxation and other mechanisms to achieve improved triple bottom line outcomes.

Dr Richard Stayner
Richard Stayner has 20 years experience in agricultural and regional economics, including the adjustment of the farm sector and regional economies. His research interest addresses the economic and social impacts of climate change on the farm sector and rural communities, managing the adjustment of the farm sector and rural communities to these changes and the implications of possible land-use change resulting from climate change policies Richard has recently focused on methods for monitoring the socio-economic impacts of implementing NSW natural resource management targets.

Dr Jacqueline Williams
Jacqueline Williams works on institutional arrangements for natural resource management. Her work is focused on the integration of on-farm natural resource management systems with regional environmental management. She is a member of the National Property Management Systems Working Group. Current projects address harmonization of institutional arrangements to improve the sustainable use of water in peri-urban settings; integration of on-farm standards, regulatory requirements, and certification of irrigation enterprises and improved mechanisms to manage the risks of policy failures in natural resource management programs.

Professor Brian Dollery
Brian Dollery is based in the School of Business Economics and Public Policy. Brian has examined numerous questions in contemporary Australian local government policy and practice, especially in the area of structural reform and amalgamation, but also shared services, local government finance, Section 94 developer contributions, local government grants processes, benchmarking and other performance measures, and pricing in local government.

Professor Euan Fleming
Euan Fleming is an economist in the School of Business, Economics and Public Policy. His research work includes examination of the incorporation of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) as a 'bad output' in efficiency and productivity analysis. Results of such studies should provide firms with better indicators of the efficiency of their operations, by taking GHG into account. For example, in a study of the technical efficiency of three sites of a major Australian environmental goods company, it was found that including GHG as a factor in the production function led to a change in the technical efficiency rankings of the sites.

Assoc. Professor Oscar Cacho
Oscar Cacho's research addresses agricultural and environmental economics, in particular market solutions to environmental problems. He has applied this specialized approach to the economics of invasive species; management of grazing systems; sustainability in agriculture and natural resources; risk management; land degradation; and the role of carbon credits in farm forestry systems. He has worked on carbon issues with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); Alternatives to Slash and Burn (an international NGO based in Nairobi), the International Center for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) and the Center for International Forestry Research. He recently completed a major international project on carbon sequestration and poverty reduction.

Assoc. Professor Mark Lunney
Mark Lunney has an extensive research background in common law issues, in both Australia and the UK to undertake postgraduate research. He is co-author of Tort Law: Text and Materials (2nd ed, 2003) (with KA Oliphant) and is a contributor to Butterworths Common Law Series The Law of Tort (2002). Legal issues of rights and responsibilities, through statute, administrative actions and common law courts, are likely to become increasingly important as policies to address carbon, climate, water and energy are implemented.

Assoc. Professor Mahinda Siriwardana
Mahinda Siriwardana is an economist from the School of Business, Economics and Public Policy. His main research area is computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modelling. This provides the capacity to develop CGE models that take environmental issues like pollution, and carbon taxes into account. Innovations in tax and subsidy policies, carbon trading, and new techniques for pollution abatement are critical concerns. Using CGE models the impact on the society and different sectors can to be quantified. This allows for more sophisticated environmental policy analysis at both a regional and state or national level.

Assoc. Professor Tony Sorensen
Tony Sorensen researches economic and social conditions in rural and regional Australia, the processes that have created them, management problems arising, and potential public policy responses. His current research interests focus on the importance of regional leadership for improving community resilience and regional governance. His recent work has considered Australian regional governance, and the dynamics of change in Australia's rural heartland. He is particularly interested in mechanisms to ensure community resilience in the face of imposed change.

Dr Elaine Barclay
Elaine Barclay is the Assistant Director of the Institute for Rural Futures at UNE. She has a degree in Social Science, postgraduate qualifications in psychology and a PhD in Criminology/Sociology. She was previously a partner in a family farming operation near Moree in northern New South Wales. Combining an understanding of rural societies and psychology allows unique insights into how communities can adapt to stress. Elaine has undertaken projects in farm succession and inheritance, information technology, welfare services for farm families, crime in rural communities, biosecurity and the social impact of water trading.

Dr Graham Marshall
Graham Marshall's research addresses socio-economic issues in collaborative natural resources management (NRM), and on methods for securing cooperation from farmers. He is author of the book 'Economics for Collaborative Environmental Management: Renegotiating the Commons'. His current work is concerned with regional natural resource management. Past projects include: implementing district-scale NRM plans; adoption of conservation practices; costs of carbon-sink projects; benefit-cost analysis; valuation of seasonal climate forecasts; agricultural productivity losses fro irrigation salinity and water-logging; institutional analysis of; and of cost-sharing arrangements.

Dr Judith McNeill
Judith McNeill has extensive experience in policy-making departments (federal and state) and regional development. Her recent research has considered the economics of climate change with a particular emphasis on structural adjustment in the economy. The economic and social impact of such policies on rural towns and businesses is a particular concern. This will require new policies to address opportunities and challenges for rural communities. Judy has research underway in carbon trading.

Dr Ian Reeve
Ian Reeve has a degree in the earth sciences and postgraduate qualifications in resource management and statistics. He has a PhD in sociology from the Australian National University. He joined the Rural Development Centre in 1985 and has undertaken a range of applied research and consultancy projects in fields such as professional, agricultural and adult education; environmental attitudes; agricultural extension evaluation and environmental and agricultural policy.

Mr Kip Werren
Kip Warren is an accountant and lawyer with substantial practical experience in rural issues. His research interests include incentives to achieve carbon limits, accountancy standards for conservation instruments, carbon trading market systems, mechanisms to accurately record carbon sequestration, the incorporation of farmers into carbon offsetting, greenhouse gas and energy emission reporting for corporations.