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Environmental policy implementation: sea dumping off sub-Antarctic Heard Island, Australia


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Kriwoken, L and Hay, P and Keage, P (1989) Environmental policy implementation: sea dumping off sub-Antarctic Heard Island, Australia. Maritime Studies, 48. pp. 11-21. ISSN 0726-6472

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In pursuit of its Antarctic interests, Australia has nominated a single agency, the Australian Antarctic Division
to exercise legislative and managerial responsibility for Antarctic operations. This agency has a dual role in undertaking station development and resupply activities on the one hand and the responsibility of enuironrnental watchdog over these same official activities on the other. There is potential conflict between these roles and in practice this can result in the subversion of the latter function and thus the promotion of environmental degradation with both short and longterm impacts on the terrestrial and marine Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environment. The situation described below typifies the problems encountered in implementing environmental protection policy by agencies charged with conflicting responsibilities. Recourse is had to policy implernentation
theory in the context of analyses of pertinent Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environmental legislation, of policy interpretation and management within the Australian Antarctic Division, and of onsite decision-making. Observations of recent sea dumping activities off subAntarctic Heard Island are used to illustrate the problem of the Division's role ambiguity. Conclusions and recommendations point touiard serious inadequacies
in the implementation of environmental policy and to the possibility of improving the enuironrnental record by strengthening the enuironmental responsibilities of other agencies.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Antarctica; Australia; Australian Antarctic Division; AAD; sea dumping; sub-Antarctic Heard Island; environmental impact; policy
Journal or Publication Title: Maritime Studies
Page Range: pp. 11-21
ISSN: 0726-6472
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2008 00:14
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:27
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