Jackie Robinson,  Jared Dent & Rob Fearon, School of Economics Discussion Paper No. 452 January 2012, School of Economics, The University of Queensland. Australia.


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Agricultural practices including “grazing and overgrazing in general, agricultural production, water use practices, extensive vegetation clearing, wetland drainage on coastal plains, and development on acid sulphate soils” have been identified in the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan (Australian Government and Queensland Government 2009) as contributing towards nutrient, sediment and toxicant loads entering waterways. The management of the discharge of diffuse or non-point sources of discharge from agricultural land into waterways in Queensland has become a matter of increasing concern to all stakeholders. This paper reviews a number of currently available incentives that are designed to coerce, facilitate or induce modifications to the behaviour of land managers in Queensland to achieve an improvement in the condition of the environment. The findings from the review facilitate the identification of an approach to the design of a policy framework that draws on the strengths of individual incentives and suggests how integration with other incentives employing different mechanisms for take-up enhances the overall efficacy of management. Some suggestions are offered to describe how the approach could be applied in Queensland to improve land management impacting on water quality