Regulating our Natural Resources - Farmers Friend or Farmers Foe? Have Regulators got the mix Right?
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There is growing community acceptance of regulatory compliance activities that address the misuse and poor management of our natural resources. However, in some areas and industries, there is still a significant degree of resistance to these programs. Utilising Queensland’s vegetation management processes as a case study, this paper explores a range of criminogenic factors, such as Rational Choice/Routine Activities Theory and Control/Social Bond Theory, that may promote regulatory non-compliance by landholders and the ongoing rejection of regulatory requirements as being excessively restrictive and intrusive. It is argued that this ongoing rejection of regulatory requirements provides evidence of an entrenched view in some areas, that the ‘penalties do not fit the crime’. The paper will also consider how, as part of a balanced approached to compliance, strategies that promote ‘trust’ between regulators and the regulated may ultimately assist in altering these attitudes and improve levels of voluntary regulatory compliance.