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Participatory development for regional sustainability in Western Australia: An enabling state?

McGrath, N., Armstrong, R. and Marinova, D. (2003) Participatory development for regional sustainability in Western Australia: An enabling state? In: International Sustainability Conference, 17 - 19 September, Fremantle, Western Australia

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Sustainability requires integration of social, economic and ecological spheres and equitable participation in decision making. Regionally specific sustainability processes that account for diverse environments and populations, including indigenous are required. An international participatory paradigm provides a broad philosophy and includes an array of concepts and methods for local and regional communities in partnership with government to facilitate regional processes. To achieve this, a coordinated commitment to an enabling government structure, sustainability principles and in particular a participatory philosophy, by the State and local governments is necessary. This will require a transformation of the public service from a director of passive programs and laws to a facilitator of community projects and outcomes, towards an enabling state. Participatory methodologies have been utilised successfully around the globe to create an institutional framework that facilitates a process of dialogue, partnership, networking, learning and managing change. This paper examines the potential contribution of a participatory approach as the means to improve the participatory capacity of regional communities and both local and State Government towards the facilitation of regional sustainability processes.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy
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