Metagovernance of Participatory water reform in NSW

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This paper examines the metagovernance associated the NSW water reform process which started in 1998 and took almost a decade to implement. The process was promoted as a partnership between government and the community and used representative stakeholder forums to develop regional water sharing plans. However whether governments truly engage in participation or use it simply as a part of symbolic policy is a key question in the literature on participatory governance.This research found government took a top down approach to the process in that it strongly influenced decisions at a various scales. This led to considerable stakeholder frustration and anger as it made participation seem tokenistic. When agency oversight and influence are combined in this way it leads to high transaction costs because it encourages participants to try to take advantage of other policy windows. This, inturn, significantly increases the resources required by the agency to manage the process. It is concluded have clear goals and as well as a coherent participatory process are important issues in metagovernance of participatory processes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTASA 2008 conference
Subtitle of host publicationRe-imagining Sociology
EditorsT. Majoribanks, J. Barraket, J-S Chang, A. Dawson, M. Guillemin, M Henry- Henry-Waring, A. Kenyon, R. Kokanovic, J. Lewis, D. Lusher, D. Nolan, P. Pyett, R. Robins, D. Warr, J. Wyn
Place of PublicationMelbourne
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780734039842
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventThe Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference - Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Duration: 02 Dec 200805 Dec 2008


ConferenceThe Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference


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