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Priority : Natural resource management

The use of natural resources is a cornerstone of economic activity in many of Australia's regions (directly and through flow-on effects), in particular agricultural and tourism activity. Natural resource management in Australia has undergone significant changes in the last 10 years with a move towards sustainability, particularly environmental sustainability.

These ongoing changes are impacting on the way that many regional businesses operate and this is flowing through to the broader regional community and towns. The department has worked with other Commonwealth departments and agencies to ensure that the Commonwealth's development and involvement in natural resource management policy encompasses consideration of the needs and abilities of regional communities in adjusting to new natural resource management regimes.

This work contributed to the government's decisions to negotiate new water reform arrangements with state and territory governments and the Productivity Commission Inquiry into the impacts of native vegetation and bio-diversity conservation regulation.

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