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Exploring links between ownership, governance and condition of stormwater quality improvement devices
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 22:27 authored by Ruby Arden
Local councils use the development approval process to place responsibility for stormwater treatment with private landholders rather than relying solely on publicly owned sub-catchment or end of pipe solutions. This practice manifests in residents having a significant role in maintaining stormwater quality assets. While there may be sound motivation for transferring responsibility for the management of assets that provide a common good, that is water quality of local waterways, to individuals, it raises its own problems. This exploratory research has identified that governance factors such as motivation, awareness and capacity are likely to have a relationship to outcomes for stormwater quality improvement devices in both public and private ownership. The maintenance of decentralised solutions for waterway health, particularly on individual lots, is compromised by the self-interested actions (or inactions) of individuals, suggesting that local government decision-makers must consider property scale and ownership-type when allocating responsibility for devices; advocate visual integration; and facilitate public surveillance. Devices placed in private ownership through the development process must be supported by education and regulation if they are to succeed. There is sufficient argument to support further investigation of the wider applicability of the research in other local government areas.