Discusses natural resources policy‐making issues in the context of expectations about the work of the Australian Resource Assessment Commission and its performance so far. For example, mining and forestry are under challenge as industries because scientific knowledge is extending beyond the technical justification of their activities. Policy makers cannot rely on value‐free scientific information: data are open to different interpretations and both sides in a dispute (industry and conservationists) can marshall scientific evidence to support their case. Government is forced to establish independent agencies to give them advice but their role in transforming knowledge into policy‐relevant information is problematic.
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