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Appraising the role of relationships between regulators and consultants for effective EIA

Morrison-Saunders, A. and Bailey, M. (2009) Appraising the role of relationships between regulators and consultants for effective EIA. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 29 (5). pp. 284-294.

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The role of relationships between regulators and consultants engaged in environmental impact assessment (EIA) is explored. A Partnering Agreement between Western Australian regulators and consultants gave rise to a survey and interviews with representatives of these EIA practitioners to understand levels of cooperation between them and ways to improve EIA practice locally. A mixture of quantitative and qualitative responses are presented with an emphasis on practitioner comments reproduced in their own words and 'voice'. The results suggest that while relationships are strained because of staff resources and levels of expertise brought about by a major resource boom in recent years, there is a great desire for cooperation and collaboration. Greater clarification and understanding of each stakeholder's purpose and role in the EIA process along with opportunities for EIA practitioners to interact, communicate and socialise are identified as positive ways forward. The value of establishing the relatively simple Partnering Agreement approach is demonstrated and is put forward as something that practitioners internationally might equally benefit from as a means of improving the effectiveness of EIA practice.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2009 Elsevier Inc.
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