2. Theoretical Background and Conceptual Framework
2.1. Cross-Sectoral Synergies—Rise of an Integrated Approach to Disaster Risk Reduction
2.2. Defining Policy Integration
2.3. Conditions that Enable and Constrain Policy Integration
3. Materials and Methods
4.1. The Emergence of an Integrated Policy Regime for “Bushfire Protection”
4.2. The Challenges of Policy Integration for Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas
4.2.1. Coordinated Subsystem Interaction
4.2.2. Cultural Compatibility
“bushfire risk should have been considered in all planning decisions…but it wasn’t… No-one was enforcing it… the guidelines talked about local government designating bushfire prone areas, which they didn’t do” (DFES). This situation, according to another interviewee, “was increasing the vulnerability of communities at risk” (DFES).
“…a lot of development in the past happened in vegetated areas where development should have NEVER ever happened from a bushfire point of view… At least there’s a check and balance now…it’s great for community protection” (Bushfire Consultant).
“DFES have a very strong command and control structure. Similar to the army, similar to the police. People should obey their orders and they should do what they want” (Local Government Planner).
the WAPC planning area is often quite pro-development… the development industry, which is incredibly powerful, has a huge amount of influence on government, promotes land development as economic growth… The state government certainly sees [land development] as a very strong economic driver for growth and for local governments it can be too (Local Government Planner).
“There’s a lot of vested interested in development, and preventing development at a local government level by designating any areas as bushfire prone [would result in] political backlash for [local governments], because [the developers] are often their local rate payers and voters” (DFES).
4.2.3. Coherence of Subsystem Goals
“to try and figure out what our shared goals would be. And that is ongoing…there’s goodwill there, but each agency is looking at its own patch.”
DFES’s role is to ensure that people and property are not put at any risk. For planning, though, in decision-making, we need to consider a whole raft of things. We need to consider the demand for housing. We need to consider risks including bushfire. But there’s a whole raft of risks, other environmental policies, and protection of vegetation is a key one for planners (DPLH).
“[Planners] are not responsible for the response when things go wrong… they won’t be the ones that get pulled out in front of the coronial inquiry…It’s DFES and DFES’ leadership that will be held accountable. But the actual problem was caused through planning decisions” (DFES).
4.2.4. Cross-Sectoral Understandings
“So, we have planners with no bushfire experience and then we have DFES staff, who are the reverse, they have a lot of technical expertise in the fire space and not so much in the planning space.”
So when I’ve questioned [DFES] on the assumptions and been told, ‘you’ll need this much amount of research to back that up before DFES will support that.’ And when I asked them what research supports their current position, they have none…so you start to question the integrity of the whole thing.
DFES doesn’t appear to have the expertise or resources to assess an alternative solution-so they can’t approve it… DFES is always going to be risk averse…it’s in their nature, they’re never going to go out on a limb and say, “Oh look, we don’t really understand this alternative solution, but yeah, it looks fine… go for it.”
“Let’s have a scientific basis for our mapping or a new methodology and that’s how we should proceed, not on any other basis.”
4.2.5. Consistency of Instrument Mix to Address Policy Goals
“They’ve brought it all back to central advice point. But what that also means is the people providing that advice are not familiar with the location.”
the crux of the development of the policy, and the guidelines is that the policy is developed under the Planning Development Act…So, even though the guidelines are co-badged, it can be frustrating because it’s not done under our regulation, it’s not done by our agency, the state planning policy is not out policy. So, our ability to influence the content is curtailed.
Our role is to assess the Bushfire Management Plan against the policy and the guidelines and provide advice—not back to the consultant, but to the decision maker—and it’s advice only. So, it’s not mandatory…We’re just one referral agency and planning proposals get referred to other organizations, environment and so forth.
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|Dimension||Enabling Condition||Constraining Condition||Key Literature|
|Coordinated subsystem interaction||Political will and a government mode supportive of policy integration.||Lack of political support and a government favoring sector specialization.||Rode , Candel and Biesbroek , Rouillard et al. , Meijers and Stead ,|
Briassoulis , Stead and Meijers 
|Effective administrative, financial and legislative structures.||Administrative fragmentation, insufficient resources and inadequate legislation.||Rode , Briassoulis , Rouillard, Heal, Ball and Reeves , Nordbeck and Steurer , Metz, Angst and Fischer , Stead and Meijers |
|A lead subsystem and other committed subsystems.||Lack of leadership and subsystem commitment.||Briassoulis , Meijers and Stead ,|
Rode , Stead and Meijers 
|Cultural Compatibility||Subsystems share similar worldviews.||Subsystems have diverging worldviews.||Briassoulis , Candel and Biesbroek , Metz, Angst and Fischer |
|Subsystems have a collaborative culture and willingness to share decision-making.||Subsystems prefer sectorial specialization and retaining decision-making power.||Metz, Angst and Fischer , |
Nordbeck and Steurer , Cumiskey, Priest, Klijn and Juntti , Stead and Meijers 
|Subsystems share a common understanding of the policy problem/s.||Subsystems frame the policy problem/s differently.||, Nilsson and Persson , Candel and Biesbroek ,|
Stead and Meijers 
|Coherence of sectorial goals||Congruent and compatible policy goals.||Incoherent goals and an absence of an overarching strategic vision.||Candel and Biesbroek , Metz, Angst and Fischer ,|
Rouillard, Heal, Ball and Reeves , Candel and Pereira , Meijers and Stead , Cumiskey, Priest, Klijn and Juntti , Rayner and Howlett , Briassoulis 
|Subsystems’ specific specialized responsibilities align with overarching policy regime goals.||Misalignment of subsystems’ specialized responsibilities with overarching policy regime goals.||Meijers and Stead ,|
Briassoulis , Cumiskey, Priest, Klijn and Juntti 
|All relevant subsystems of the regime are involved in developing policy goals.||Failure to involve all relevant subsystems in developing policy goals.||Stead and Meijers ,|
Candel and Biesbroek 
|Cross-sectoral understandings||Policy actors willing to engage with new knowledge, and information is shared across subsystems.||A reluctance of policy actors to embrace new knowledge, and information and data sharing is constrained.||Cumiskey, Priest, Klijn and Juntti , Briassoulis , Stead and Meijers |
|Various opportunities available for cross-disciplinary learning for actors.||Limited opportunities for actors to gain knowledge outside of their core discipline.||Metz, Angst and Fischer , Cumiskey, Priest, Klijn and Juntti , Metz, Angst and Fischer , Briassoulis |
|New knowledge and policy frames produced through instrument co-design and policy learning processes.||Instruments designed by the dominant subsystem with limited opportunities for policy learning and knowledge sharing.||Cumiskey et al. , Briassoulis ,|
Rayner and Howlett 
|Consistency of instrument mix||Policy instruments are compatible with the overarching policy goals.||Instruments are inconsistent and fail to address the overarching regime policy goals.||Rayner and Howlett , Briassoulis ,|
Candel and Biesbroek , Trein, Meyer and Maggetti 
|Instruments mix cuts across the subsystems and merges the professional expertise of subsystems.||The instrument mix is the result of policy layering and characterized by duplication, gaps and failure.||Candel and Biesbroek , Trein, Meyer and Maggetti |
Howlett, Vince and Pablo del 
|Flexible instruments with review and monitoring mechanisms that allow for readjustment and adaptation.||Rigid policy instruments with inadequate review and monitoring mechanisms to enable readjustment and adaptation.||Meijers and Stead ,|
Briassoulis ,Stead and Meijers 
|Sector Organization/Policy Subsystem||Number of Interviewees|
|Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES)||3|
|Department of Planning Lands and Heritage (DPLH)||2|
|Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA)||1|
|Local Government Planners||6|
|Local Government Senior Executive Staff||2|
|Local Government Environmental Managers||2|
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