Researcher biography

Claire Emmerson is an Undergraduate Student Associate at the Centre for Policy Futures. She is undertaking a short-term research project that will investigate the effectiveness of long-term strategic planning under the guidance of Professor Karen Hussey. This project is part of her studies at the University of Queensland where she majors in Public Policy and Political Science at the School of Political Science and International Studies.  As a student, she has developed a keen interest in environmental policy, especially areas that relate to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef.

Her research will centre on the 2017 progress report on the implementation of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan (“The Plan”). This will be used as a basis to determine whether long-term strategic planning is an appropriate method to resolve large-scale environmental issues. Long-term strategic planning aims to transform today’s vision into a future reality. Consequently, it has been chosen as the approach to address the environmental crises facing both the Great Barrier Reef and the Murray Darling Basin. 

By examining the implementation of contemporary plans (the Basin Plan, the National Energy Productivity Plan, and primarily the Reef 2050 Plan), this study will aim to uncover the degree of success that long-term strategic planning has had in Australia. Long-term strategic plans typically include short and long-term objectives that work to ensure the desired outcome is achieved. To be successful long-term strategic plans should also be adaptable. By examining the extent that the Plan has met the short-term targets and adapted to environmental change, such as the coral bleaching event in 2016, it may indicate whether the Plan’s long-term objectives can be achieved. In doing so, it may reveal areas that require improvement in long-term environmental management.