The Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Package (ABSP) is a Federal Government initiative that has the potential to significantly increase biodiversity and provide ecologically sustainable development to the agriculture sector. How well this occurs partly depends on the regulatory framework setting it up which is under review with the enabling Bill currently before Federal parliament. Key problem areas are operation of the biodiversity certification scheme, methodologies for measuring biodiversity growth and operation of the biodiversity credits trading platform. Getting these areas right in a regulatory framework presents many challenges, not least of which is to account for different farm types and landscapes and presenting a clear dichotomy between regulatory prescription and allowance for discretionary decision making. This presentation examines the issue from the perspective of how to address these challenges by examining construction of regulatory frameworks, how this dichotomy between regulatory prescription and discretionary decision making is managed and what is required to achieve regulatory eco-efficacy when implementing the ABSP program.
Dr Rhett Martin is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law and Justice at USQ. His research has a cross-disciplinary focus which includes regulation and sustainability in natural resource sectors such as forestry. His work covers what he describes as 'sustainability regulation' which addresses balance between economic development and ecological protection. Prior to moving to Queensland from Victoria in 2014, Rhett worked at RMIT and Monash Universities and previously practised as a lawyer in Melbourne.