This lecture examines water management, fisheries and cultural heritage laws in Queensland, Australia.
A central theme developed in the lecture is that environmental regulation is very hard for long-term and highly complex environmental problems.
A large part of the lecture is devoted to examining a case study of the Paradise Dam, which was built on the Burnett River in Queensland in 2003-2005. The dam was the subject of extended litigation in the Federal Court of Australia examined in a separate case study.
A handout referred to in the lecture summarising water management laws in Queensland is available here.
In summary, the take-home points from the lecture are:
- Water management is difficult and complex. It is difficult both technically, due to the highly variable flows of Australian rivers, and politically.
- Environmental regulation is very hard for long-term and highly complex environmental problems.
- Requirements for monitoring can be important components of approvals but are worthless if the results are ignored.
- Important controls on water management, fisheries and cultural heritage protection are integrated into the IDAS system.
- Indigenous cultural heritage and native title are important to recognise and respect.
- Native title holders are not free to ignore general laws (e.g. for nature conservation) but there are significant difficulties for regulating traditional hunting of threatened species.