Regulating for Sustainability : Property Issues

Christensen, Sharon Anne, Duncan, William D., & O'Connor, Pam (2011) Regulating for Sustainability : Property Issues. Faculty of Law, QUT and Faculty of Law, Monash University, Melbourne.


All Australian governments recognize the need to ensure that land and natural resources are used sustainably. In this context, ‘resources’ includes natural resources found on land such as trees and other vegetation, fauna, soil and minerals, and cultural resources found on land such as archaeological sites and artefacts.

Regulators use a wide range of techniques to promote sustainability. To achieve their objectives, they may, for example, create economic incentives through bounties, grants and subsidies, encourage the development of self-regulatory codes, or enter into agreements with landowners specifying how the land is to be managed.

A common way of regulating is by making administrative orders, determinations or decisions under powers given to regulators by Acts of Parliament (statutes) or by regulations (delegated legislation). Generally the legislation provides for specified rights or duties, and authorises a regulator to make an order or decision to apply the legislative provisions to particular land or cases. For example, legislation might empower a regulator to make an order that requires the owner of a contaminated site to remediate it. When the regulator exercises the power by making an order in relation to particular land, the owner is placed under a statutory duty to remediate.

When regulators exercise their statutory powers to manage the use of private land or natural or cultural resources on private land, property law issues can arise. The owner of land has a private property right that the law will enforce against anybody else who interferes with the enjoyment of the right, without legal authority to do so. The law dealing with the enforcement of private property rights forms part of private law.

This report focuses on the relationship between the law of private property and the regulation of land and resources by legislation and by administrative decisions made under powers given by legislation (statutory powers).

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 41637
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Keywords: Sustainability, Property Law, Torrens Title, Overriding interests
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Past > Institutes > Institute for Sustainable Resources
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Sharon Christensen, William Duncan and Pamela O'Connor
Deposited On: 11 May 2011 01:47
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2017 14:41

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