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A milestone in community participation in environmental management in New South Wales was the introduction of the Catchment Management Act 1989. To oversee the strategic planning and implementation of natural resource management, the Act provided for a network of committees across the State composed of agency staff, stakeholders and community representatives. In the selection process for this network, the focus of stakeholder and community participation has been on ensuring appropriate representation, rather than merit, and in rural areas the term ‘community’ has been synonymised with ‘land holder/land user’. This definition of community has frequently resulted in environmental management being placed in the hands of sectional interests. In this paper the potential problems of this approach are discussed and examples provided.

Anon. 1989 Catchment Management Act, No. 235. Government Printer, New South Wales.
Anon. 1994-95 Total Catchment Management Annual Report 1994-95. Department of Land and Water Conservation, Sydney.
Azarbayjani, F. F., Burgin, S. and Richardson, B. J. 1999. Arboreal arthropod biodiversity in woodlands. II. The pattern of diversity on Melaleuca linariifolia following defaunation. Australian Journal of Ecology 24: 655-661.
Burgin, S. 1998. When ignorance may be bliss, but potentially damaging - a discussion on genetic factors underlying provenance biodiversity. Pp. 4-10 in Proceedings for the Provenance in Vegetation Management Forum, June 22, 1998, Parkroyal Parramatta, Parramatta. Hawkesbury - Nepean Catchment Management Trust, Windsor and Greening Australia New South Wales, Stanmore.
Burgin, S. 1999. Integration: does it deliver for the environment. Proceedings of New Solutions for Sustainability - Integrated Natural Resource Management Conference, 4-5 March, 1999, Sydney University, Camperdown. Nature Conservation Council of NSW Inc., Sydney.
Burgin, S. 2000. Catchment management development in New South Wales. Presentation in Third International River Management Symposium, Brisbane, 6-8 September, 2000.
Cullen, P. 1997. The Australian scene: visions for integrating catchment management. In Proceedings of 2nd National Workshop on Integrated Catchment Management. Advancing Integrated Resource Management: Processes and Policies. Australian National University, Canberra. 29 September - 1 October, 1997.
Jelbart, J., 1998 An Investigation of the Influence of Edge Effects on the Distribution and Abundance of Skinks in Remnant Cumberland Plain woodland in Western Sydney. M. App. Sc.(Environmental Science), University of Western Sydney - Hawkesbury, Richmond.
Simberloff, D. S., Cox, J., 1987. Consequences and costs of conservation corridors. Conservation Biology 1: 63-71.
Simberloff, D. S., Farr, J. A., Cox, J. and Mehlman, D. W., 1992. Movement corridors: conservation bargains or poor investments? Conservation Biology 6: 493-504.
Steven, M., 1988 First Impressions: the British Discovery of Australia. British Museum (Natural History), London.
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References

Anon. 1989 Catchment Management Act, No. 235. Government Printer, New South Wales.
Anon. 1994-95 Total Catchment Management Annual Report 1994-95. Department of Land and Water Conservation, Sydney.
Azarbayjani, F. F., Burgin, S. and Richardson, B. J. 1999. Arboreal arthropod biodiversity in woodlands. II. The pattern of diversity on Melaleuca linariifolia following defaunation. Australian Journal of Ecology 24: 655-661.
Burgin, S. 1998. When ignorance may be bliss, but potentially damaging - a discussion on genetic factors underlying provenance biodiversity. Pp. 4-10 in Proceedings for the Provenance in Vegetation Management Forum, June 22, 1998, Parkroyal Parramatta, Parramatta. Hawkesbury - Nepean Catchment Management Trust, Windsor and Greening Australia New South Wales, Stanmore.
Burgin, S. 1999. Integration: does it deliver for the environment. Proceedings of New Solutions for Sustainability - Integrated Natural Resource Management Conference, 4-5 March, 1999, Sydney University, Camperdown. Nature Conservation Council of NSW Inc., Sydney.
Burgin, S. 2000. Catchment management development in New South Wales. Presentation in Third International River Management Symposium, Brisbane, 6-8 September, 2000.
Cullen, P. 1997. The Australian scene: visions for integrating catchment management. In Proceedings of 2nd National Workshop on Integrated Catchment Management. Advancing Integrated Resource Management: Processes and Policies. Australian National University, Canberra. 29 September - 1 October, 1997.
Jelbart, J., 1998 An Investigation of the Influence of Edge Effects on the Distribution and Abundance of Skinks in Remnant Cumberland Plain woodland in Western Sydney. M. App. Sc.(Environmental Science), University of Western Sydney - Hawkesbury, Richmond.
Simberloff, D. S., Cox, J., 1987. Consequences and costs of conservation corridors. Conservation Biology 1: 63-71.
Simberloff, D. S., Farr, J. A., Cox, J. and Mehlman, D. W., 1992. Movement corridors: conservation bargains or poor investments? Conservation Biology 6: 493-504.
Steven, M., 1988 First Impressions: the British Discovery of Australia. British Museum (Natural History), London.
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