How can different values and conflicting ideas be managed in terms of deciding future directions for a community? A discussion of the ethical implications of growth and development in a small country town; Gundaroo.

AN ESSAY SUBMITTED TO THE SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN, DEPARTMENT OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE, UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA.

BY
CATHY CHALLINOR

JULY 1995


ABSTRACT :

Growth and development are proposed in Gundaroo, a small country town in New South Wales. Inevitably, in this situation, different values and conflicting ideas are apparent, and future direction is unclear. This essay discusses the ethical implications of growth and development, and how the situation in Gundaroo can be managed. An ethical base is established, using utilitarianism as the theoretical starting point. The ethical viewpoint is conceived to be universal, and therefore consideration is to be given to further the interests of individuals in the context of others, and the environment. Those affected and their interests are analysed in order to find the best course of action. Documents such as the Local Environment Plan and Development Control Plan are examined as representative of strategies to manage conflict, as being rule based or providing ethical objectives. The decisions being made in Gundaroo are then investigated, and their potential and impending effects are considered. The essay finds that ethical goals, rather than rules, are the most useful and applicable form of management. Community consultation is demonstrated as a highly effective technique to ascertain the interests of concerned parties, and advice from experts is to be sought in matters of technical importance. The management process is found to require articulation and to be transparent, ensuring accountability and quality. The importance of an environmental ethic becomes apparent, according to how greatly we value the prospect for future generation's lives. An environmental ethic perpetuates the society, and is therefore the goal. It is the universally applied wisdom about how to live.


THE ESSAY considers the decision making processes and problems linked to growth and development in a small country town. It begins with an examination of the nature of utilitarianism, as the theoretical base, and as a strategy for conflict management in this situation. To find the best course of action, those affected, and their interests, will be described with reference to documents such as the Gundaroo Development Control Plan, as representative of desirable outcomes. Inevitably, conflicting ideas are apparent, and the decision making process must be a fair and equitable realisation of these. The paper concludes with recommendations about the preferred processes for management of conflicting ideas and value differences.

Ethics is practical; Singer proposes that: "[t]he goal is wisdom about how to live our lives. " (Singer, 1994:3) The aim of ethical judgement is to guide action or practice. If a person is said to be living according to ethical standards, then the person's actions must be justifiable according to standards or principles of a certain type, and in the context of possible alternatives. A person's actions cannot be justified in terms of self-interest alone, because the concept of ethics goes beyond the idea of the individual. Therefore, self-interested actions must be shown to be compatible with more broadly held ethical principles.

One way of presenting ethical principles is as a system of rules. These may be simple rules such as 'Do not cheat' and 'Do not lie' that must be obeyed as ethical objectives. However the complexities in life make these simple rules difficult to apply, and they may conflict in unusual situations. For example, it may be totally justifiable to lie when not doing so would have far worse consequences. This position can be redeemed slightly by making more specific and complicated rules to prevent conflict. For example, one may rank the rules in a hierarchy to be observed according to the situation. However, circumstances are not always predictable, and the complexity of life would imply that this system has significant shortcomings.

It is often asserted that ethics is relative to the society in which one lives. (Singer, 1993:4). On one level this is plausible in that a simple rule is only relevant in relation to a place and a time. However, if ethical judgement is always relative to the society, disagreement cannot be accounted for. Peter Singer in Practical Ethics uses an example of relativism to judge slavery, and concludes that there is no basis to form an opinion. If one disapproves of slavery, it is really only a statement that one's society disapproves of it: "When I say slavery is wrong I am really only saying that my society disapproves of slavery, and when the slaveowners from the other society say that slavery is right, they are only saying that their society approves of it. Why argue? Obviously we could both be speaking the truth. " (Singer, 1993 : 6)
Equally, relativism does not account for the individual viewpoint that doesn't conform; someone living in a society that approves of slavery would simply be making an error in stating that slavery is wrong (Singer, 1993 : 6).

In light of these difficulties, Utilitarianism, a form of consequentialism, will now be examined as a strategy for managing different values and conflicting ideas. A consequentialist begins from goals, not with moral rules, and judges an action by the extent to which it furthers these goals. This is more applicable than using a complex system of rules. A utilitarian believes that an action will have consequences that vary according to the situation, and may judge lying to be good in some situations and bad in others. If an action produces as much, or more, of an increase in the happiness of the interested parties than any alternative solution, then this action is seen as right by a classical utilitarian. Similarly, it is wrong if it does not.

A useful form of utilitarianism differs slightly from the classical form in that the best consequences are seen as those that further the interest of the affected parties, rather than increasing 'pleasure' and reducing 'pain'. It has been suggested however, that the words 'pleasure' and 'pain' were used in a broad sense by classical utilitarians such as Bentham and John Stuart Mill; that 'pleasure' would be what one desired and 'pain' the opposite (Singer, 1993). In this case there would be no difference between these views.

The set of ethical ideals that a society adopts is a reflection of the conditions under which the members of the society live and work. Some ethical views of a society can be universally applicable under any conditions, and include the things it needs to exist. The ethical principle not to kill each other will perpetuate the society, but some principles do the opposite of what is needed, and are slow to change.

There have been numerous calls for the 'new' ethic, with the environment a central concern. These are reassuring because the heart of these concerns is in the right place (Cooper, 1992). Some of these ideas embody a conviction that one should be reverent towards the environment, or 'nature', in order to value it highly enough. Cooper has identified the contradictory possibilities this encompasses :
"At a theoretical level, one suspects tension between the attitude of 'reverence' we are urged to accord nature and the 'holistic' theme of man as just one 'part of nature'. For, as some 'new' writers themselves stress, that attitude might only be appropriate towards what Rudolf Otto called 'the wholly other'. Worship of nature that includes ourselves might betray that hubris of which 'new' ethicists typically complain." (Cooper, 1992 :167)

Singer suggests:
"The broad outlines of a truly environmental ethic are easy to discern. At its most fundamental level, such an ethic fosters consideration for the interests of all sentient creatures, including subsequent generations stretching into the far future." (Singer, 1993 : 286)

The principle of utility does not undermine the case for the environment. Such an ethic will highly regard the environment, because our well-being is reliant on the protection and preservation of the natural environment. In fact, it is paramount. Destruction of forests, land degradation, pollution and the greenhouse effect all have, at the very least, significant detrimental effects on life. An environmental ethic has even greater significance when consideration is given to future generations.

Empirical evidence seems to suggest that it is universally accepted to value the prospects of future generations. This might be seen as an essentially human characteristic, and if so, this principle can then be applied from one to all. So, if we value the prospects for future generations of a happy, healthy life, we can claim Singer as a useful voice because he identifies us as needing to consider them as vested interests. This implies that we ought to place great value on environmental issues. Furthermore, the value we place on the environment will also allow future generations to have options available to them. This is how the interests of prospective residents of Gundaroo can be accommodated. It is critical therefore, that an environmental ethic is part of the future direction for any community. It is a set of principles that perpetuates the society, and therein lies its importance.

An environmental ethic will therefore play a significant part in the growth and development of a small country town. With this in mind, our attention can now turn to Gundaroo as a case study for the ethical implications of growth and development. Gundaroo is a small rural village in NSW, part of the Shire of Gunning. The Yass River valley forms the site for the village and the river flats are fertile ground, surrounded by distant wooded hills. A pastoral landscape with scattered remnant trees and shelter belts of mixed native and exotic trees characterises the village surrounds, typical of a nineteenth century Australian town. The main street is mostly consistent with that era, the majority of the older buildings having been constructed between 1860 and 1890, and are in good condition. Typical of a town from last century, Gundaroo has a hotel, several churches, a primary school, a general store / post office and one of the few town Commons still in existence and use today. Although significant population growth has occurred over the past ten years, the rural setting and historic character remain. The small size of the township allows it's residents to know each other.

Currently there is debate and disagreement within the community and other concerned parties about the possibility of growth and change in Gundaroo, and the consequences it will bring. The role of the Gunning Shire Council, as a determining authority in this situation, is to serve the interest of its people. To manage conflicts of interest, the Council adopts a merit based system to analyse objections, based on the Gunning Local Environment Plan (Bates, 1995). The Local Environment Plan is a broad base policy document for land- use planning, (Willett, 1995), and is formulated under the Environment Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW). Under this Local Environment Plan, Gundaroo is zoned 2(b) Residential: Village and 1(c) Rural (Gunning Local Environment Plan). In matters where interests conflict, the situation is to be managed by the Council in a utilitarian manner, attempting to further the interest of the greatest number.

Different ideas are apparent and future direction for the community is unclear, as the following perceptions show:
The road winds gently around a corner and down a gradual hill, rattling across the old wooden bridge that spans the Yass River. Ahead lies the village of Gundaroo, nestling in the surrounding rural landscape it is a quiet backwater. One can look around the old houses that line the short main street and stretch back into the village network, and know each family that inhabits them. The few cars on the streets are all known, waves from farmers and villagers begin the day. The local school is small and intimate, a reflection of the community. It's an historic village, as yet relatively unmarred by the all consuming 'progress' of Western civilisation, but there's an ill wind that blows ...(Lawton, 1995)
and :
Gundaroo is located perfectly within commutable distance from Canberra and offers a timely change from city life. A highly feasible and marketable project. There's plenty of room to consolidate the village and tremendous untapped potential to develop the surrounding agricultural land. New people will bring growth and change, injecting a vitality that's needed in the village. An increase in development activity will bring increased job potential and the chance for industry diversification, all of which are very important for the community. An opportunity ... a renewal. (Wright, 1995)

The two preceding passages exemplify some of the different thoughts apparent; the first person would prefer to keep the village as it is, whereas the second would welcome growth and change.

The differing values and ideas as illustrated, will require management to establish future directions for the community. According to Bentham's Principle of Utility it is possible to approve or disapprove of every action "according to the tendency which it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party in question ..." (Bentham, 1994 : 306). It is stated that this principle can therefore be applied to any action of any private individual, or if the party whose interest is being considered is a community, then to the community, and to any measure of government. To pursue the interests of all parties, as well as future generations, it is necessary to identify those affected and their concerns. If the interest of the community is in question, firstly the concept of the community should be examined.

The Bentham concept of community is :
"The community is a fictitious body, composed of the individual persons who are considered as constituting as it were its members. The interest of the community then is, what? - the sum of the interests of the several members who compose it." (Bentham, 1994 : 307).
Perhaps this concept should be reconsidered. If ethics takes a universal view, the interests of the individual members that compose the "community", ought to take into consideration the interests of others. Equally important, as mentioned, is the need to consider future generations as having vested interests because we place great value on their lives. This, then, implies a wider concept of "community", encompassing individuals in the context of others and the environment. In this light, the community and concerned parties will be identified and examined.

Local residents are one party concerned; those who have chosen to make Gundaroo their home. It depends on the individual whether proposed growth and development will further their interest or increase their happiness. For example, a common decision to reside in the village may be in response to the 'unique character' of the village, which has in recent years attracted many new residents to the area (Gundaroo Community Association Development Control Plan). The possibility of change then, if it be detrimental to the historic, rural character of Gundaroo, would reduce the happiness, or interest, of this party. Equally, a resident of Gundaroo may reason that one should do as one pleases with what is one's own. Restrictions imposed through development guidelines and standards would not then further one's interest.

The Gundaroo Community Association, as a body responsible to the interested residents of Gundaroo, has formulated a Development Control Plan. It's purpose is to provide guidelines for development applications and to establish standards for future development. The plan presents strategies and guidelines for management of different values in future directions in a more specific document, aimed directly at the village itself. A further document has been compiled by the Gunning Shire Council, based on the input by the Gundaroo Community Association, and is currently in draft form and available for public comment.

The draft Development Control Plan as compiled by the Gundaroo Community Association is a manifestation of their desired direction for the future. This is divided into the categories of :
Land use provisions : General objectives include maintaining the rural and historic character, with new development to complement this. Small retail business is to be encouraged, as well as the continued access to public amenities such as the park. Finally, inappropriate land-use is discouraged. Subdivision provisions : The Gundaroo Community Association supports keeping the original large block sizes and is strongly against subdivision of larger surrounding blocks.
Development provisions : The Association while allowing individuality and originality, would prescribe particular requirements and standards to enhance the environment and character of Gundaroo.
Heritage requirements : Preservation of heritage items is required as an important concern for the Gundaroo Community Association. There are twenty one specific sites listed, four of which are classified by the National Trust. The other major requirement is that further development be sympathetic to the historic character.

Analysis of the above categories in the plan shows that the Gundaroo Community Association is supportive of maintaining the character of Gundaroo, with little change. The highly prescriptive protection requirements, in the form of rules in the Development Control Plan, exemplify this. The preferred direction, or ethical objective, is to control future growth and development in harmony with the heritage character, which could be very difficult both to define and enforce. The Association also places the onus on the Shire Council to be responsible for the implementation and monitoring of such a plan.
"Council considers it essential that these buildings and their immediate surroundings are protected. ... Demolition of heritage items will not be permitted." (Gundaroo Community Association Development Control Plan).

Surrounding land owners are another category of stakeholders. Larger scale land holders form the transitional zone between the village to the greater landscape beyond, where the predominant land-use is mixed use farming. The most contentious issue apparent is subdivision, and stakeholders can be divided into two groups, for and against. Those in favour of preserving the larger blocks in the surrounding region argue for supporting the traditional industry, as well as continuing the visual amenity of the rural landscape. This position is ethically justifiable, as the interested parties take into account others in the industry and the environment. Conversely, those wanting to subdivide are opposed to restrictions being placed upon the sale, use or otherwise of their land. Subdivision could conceivably bring substantial economic gain, and according to this party, the choice ought to be one's own. However, if this position is entirely self interested, it is not then ethically sound. Subdivision also has environmental consequences that will be discussed further on.

The next group is that of local business other than agriculture. The effect of growth and development on local business is dependant on the type of business, which can be divided into two categories:
I. those which depend on the gross number of people, such as the Post Office and General Store; and
II. those which appeal to the tourism sector, and are reliant on Gundaroo retaining tourist interest.

Growth and development would be beneficial to category I business, as a population increase would produce a corresponding and proportional increase in business and economic return. Category II business would best create economic gain through consolidation of the tourism industry, which has been established on Gundaroo's character as a historic village. Ideally, this is reliant on maintaining a stable environment, or at the very least strict controls under which development could take place. Heritage value is of great significance to this type of business.

Gundaroo is also of interest to the general public interested in conservation issues, as well as other heritage bodies. These include organisations such as the National Trust, National Estate, State Heritage bodies and the Australian Heritage Commission. Gundaroo has been the subject of a number of studies and publications including a report compiled for the National Trust of Australia (NSW) by James Colman in 1975. It can also be seen that Gundaroo is officially recognised to be of significant heritage value by it's placement on the Register of Classified Places by the National Trust of Australia (NSW). Classified areas are determined by the Trust's Register as :
"Those places which are components of the natural or cultural environment of Australia, that have aesthetic, historic, scientific or social significance or other special value for future generations as well as for the present community."
Specifically, Gundaroo is documented as follows :
"Village of Gundaroo Urban Conservation Area : Generally the whole of the settlement including the properties to the North, the Village Common and Cemetery, Faithful Street to the South and Yass River to the West." (National Trust of Australia (NSW), 1982)

The use of the word 'generally' in this statement of registration is non- specific, and could therefore be quite open to interpretation. Growth and development will affect the heritage value of the village, and would also be of concern to others interested in historic issues. Registration by the National Trust is an indication that a place is of high heritage significance, according to the criteria of the Trust, but it does not provide legislative protection (Australian Heritage Commission, 1994). A Heritage Adviser has been employed by the Gunning Shire Council presumably to advise the Council on heritage matters, and a submission from the Adviser addressed the draft Development Control Plan. However, the Heritage Adviser was unwilling for these comments to be made public.

In relation to the major stakeholders in this situation and their main concerns, the ethical decisions being made and their effects on the parties will be examined. Growth and development, and their implications, need to be considered. Ideally, these implications would be determined and taken into account prior to development in order to ensure that the land, proposed land- use and the people's interest are compatible. Some implications are fairly universal, rising from familiar issues, and others arise through specific and localised conditions.

One ethical decision is that of water supply to Gundaroo. Gundaroo is not served by mains water. All water is obtained from rain water tanks, bores, dams and the Yass River. If increasing numbers of bores are sunk to cater for population growth, this will place extra stress on the water table, although it is difficult to predict to what extent (Lawrence, 1995). This will affect all users, such as farmers who use the water table supply to irrigate their crops and water their livestock. Bore water is an important water supply to many stakeholders whose vested interest is in maintaining a quality and plentiful supply. Digging of more dams has a great effect on downstream ecology and users, changing the water flow rate and volume and also its quality (Lawrence, 1995). This will obviously affect all stakeholders downstream and have significant effects upon the environment generally.

If Gundaroo were to be placed on a mains water supply it would require a large dam or water reservoir for the source. This is a major step that would need a reliable and considerable projected population growth and it is therefore not a feasible consideration at this time. Rain water tanks are currently successful as the main supply of freshwater to households and each household relies on its own catchment and supply. This creates a sense of responsibility in the management of water resources for all stakeholders; that it is a finite and therefore a precious resource. As a result there would seem to be no reason as yet to change from the system that is currently successful.

Water quality issues are an area of concern, and are of universal significance to all stakeholders. It is paramount that environmental monitoring take place to allow comparisons to be made and to highlight potential problems, not after the damage has already been done. The Yass River has a problem with very high salinity. It has a naturally low flow rate, but the effect of more dams reduces the flow of water into it, further reducing the river's capacity for dilution and cleansing of pollutants. Concerns about the river alone are seen as cause to restrict development in this area (Lawrence, 1995). The river water quality is affected by chemical contaminants such as those from pesticides and fertilizers as well as increased turbidity. Problems with the quality of the river water will directly affect the many people who rely on it as an important water source, and the ecosystem as a whole.

Another issue is that of sewerage. There is no sewerage connected to Gundaroo; residents use septic tank systems. An increase in the number of septic tanks due to growth and development may cause problems of pollution and contamination. Consideration must be given to the placement of septic tanks to ensure soak-aways are not likely to affect adjacent properties; a problem that would be increased by closer proximity and overcrowding. Other problems with septic tanks in this area are unsuitable soils and poor management (Lawrence, 1995). These issues are more likely to affect residents within the village itself and those within the immediate proximity, where population growth will be the most apparent. Larger scale land holders will be less affected. Introduction of a sewage treatment system, while recommended, also creates problems with sewage effluent affecting water quality and possible contamination problems. Again this will concern those stakeholders in the immediate village vicinity, however contamination and water quality complications also have far reaching implications.

Waste disposal methods would be significantly affected by growth and development. At present the local tip, a land-fill operation, services the population of Gundaroo and surrounding areas. It is on a small piece of land that is rapidly reaching its capacity, and is occasionally burned to reduce the bulk. Burning of waste produces thick and invasive smoke causing distress to many. It is barely adequate to service the current demand, let alone increased pressure from population growth.

Growth and development in Gundaroo will require further land to be made available for these purposes. There is some scope to utilise existing vacant blocks in the village and consolidation in the central area, but additional land will need to be made available through subdivision of surrounding areas. Increased subdivision is detrimental to farmland, increasing the fragmentation of already scarce prime agricultural land. This then exacerbates problems of stress on the remaining land. Land holders rely on less farming acreage, and remaining land is worked even harder to compensate for the loss of useful area, eventually rendering it infertile. If it is in the interest of the individual land holder to subdivide, then consideration needs to be given to such implications. If decision making allows the built environment to become larger and areas of hard surfacing to be expanded, this will lead to increased runoff, causing erosion and other associated problems including vegetation loss and salinity (Lawrence, 1995).

These are examples of certain decisions to be made in relation to growth and development in Gundaroo. The nature of these issues illustrates the universal effects of the decision making process, and the subsequent ethical considerations involved in the management procedure. It is clear via these decisions and their implications, that the total sum of vested interests by far outweighs a minority group, should their practices be environmentally unsound. This is conveyed even more strongly according to how greatly we value future generations. Based on the preceding research and analysis of the circumstances under which growth and development in Gundaroo is proposed, the following critique can be constructed. This will be done in terms of the two major authorities in this situation, being the Gunning Shire Council and the Gundaroo Community Association, and the issues they ought to consider.

Gunning Shire Council : The original broad-base management strategy for future development is the Local Environment Plan. Legislative instruments such as the Local Environment Plan are in the form of a series of rules that express the ethical principles adopted by the society. However, a series of rules are not suited to the complexity of life, and indeed the Local Environment Plan did not form adequate guidance for growth and development in Gundaroo. In fact, the Gundaroo Community Association felt the inadequacy was so apparent that they formulated a Development Control Plan themselves. This illustrates that broader ethical principles as rules were not satisfactory in this case.

The following issues are also apparent, and require attention. Firstly the Shire Council is located in Gunning, 30 kilometres from Gundaroo, and most councillors do not reside locally. They have much greater difficulty in knowing and assessing local concerns as a result, and greater time and effort ought to go into overcoming this inherent bias. Secondly the Council ought to make the Heritage Adviser's comments available to the public. In not doing so, the Council directly by-passes community consultation and the transparency of the consultative process. This is certainly not an action to further the interests of the community, and the ethical implications as such should be questioned. Thirdly the Heritage Commission's power of objection to a development application is a matter for concern. The Commission ought to be made aware that they are only given 28 days to reply, and the Gunning Council made aware if a reply in this time is possible. More importantly, it is most unacceptable that the Heritage Commission's consent be assumed by default. Fourthly Gunning Shire Council states that notification is to be given to residents and land holders in Gundaroo of consideration of a development application (Gunning Development Control Plan No. 1 (Gundaroo)). The Gundaroo Community Association saw the purpose of this notification to allow Council to accept and take into consideration public comment. The Council ought to document this intent to make their strategies for management methodical and accountable. From the universal viewpoint of ethics, and in the interests of the wider community context, this is vital. Finally, and most significantly, the Council ought to have a strong commitment to an environmental ethic, acknowledging the high value that is placed on future generations. An integral part of environmental accountability is reliant on a body of information by which changes to the environment can be monitored and compared. The Gunning State of the Environment Report was produced by the Council in accordance with the 1993 Government Act which emphasises the environmental responsibility of the Council. The document highlights a lack of such information, and a subsequent lack of responsibility, in stating that the Gunning Shire Council:
"... does not have a program to implement environmental audits of contaminated sites ...
The occurrence of water pollution has not been documented and is really an unknown quantity ...
... Council then does not possess a data bank of general environmental information readily accessible to be used generally across the total Council area ..." (State of the Environment Report, 1994).

Gundaroo Community Association : The Development Control Plan prepared by the Gundaroo Community Association begins with a list of general objectives, which, as an expression of ethical goals, are a very useful starting point. The document then becomes quite prescriptive with stringent protection requirements in the form of rules, which may ultimately be its weakness. The management of different values and conflicting ideas is achieved by strategies or processes. These ought to be generated in a utilitarian manner, through ethical goals and objectives, allowing an action to be judged by it's consequences in terms of both the community and the environment.

The Gundaroo Community Association plays a valuable role however, in the community of Gundaroo, by advocating some very useful ideas and management strategies. Firstly the Association is seen to be concerned to avoid a fragmented management of Gundaroo (Gundaroo Community Association, 1994). This is an important issue according to the value we place on the environment for future generations. It recognises that the environment of Gundaroo ought to be considered as a system, and cannot be conveniently partitioned. Such a concern is clearly in the universal interest of the community. Secondly, the Association values the transparency of the decision making process (Gundaroo Community Association, 1994) which is of great consequence because it secures accountability and therefore the quality of the mechanism. Lastly, the Community Association endorses the value of community participation for its utility as part of the management process (Gundaroo Community Association, 1994). These points illustrate a sense of responsibility and commitment to an ethically sound practice of decision management.

In conclusion, to facilitate an equitable realisation of different interests in terms of these decisions about growth and development, decision making processes must be managed. To further the greatest interest, it is necessary to ascertain fairly what the interests are. In the case of growth and development in Gundaroo this can only be enabled by consultation. This is the key to the discernment and realisation of interests, and is enabled through community participation. Perhaps Edwards showed great insight into this process by saying :
"There are great difficulties, however, in making regulations to protect the public in this matter. ... In a well ordered community it would be ordained that every new building before its erection, [or a development] should be represented pictorially by means of an honest architectural drawing ... Steps would be taken for these drawings to be thoroughly well popularised among the townsfolk who could then in the exercise of their function as citizens, express their considered opinion on the project. ... What the public will arbitrate upon is the social aspect, ..."How to build a dome" is a question for the expert. But "When to build a dome" is a question for the public." (Edwards, 1946 :21 - 22)

An analysis of the stakeholders and their interests in relation to the proposed growth and development in Gundaroo shows the inevitably different interests. The process for management of these interests ought to be transparent, which ensures accountability, and therefore quality. In this way, participation is encouraged by the visibility that allows it. The principle of utility fosters consideration for one's interest in relation to others, including future generations. The great value that we place on future generation's lives conveys the strong need for an environmental ethic in future directions for the community of Gundaroo; an ethic that perpetuates the society. This environmental ethic then, is the goal. It is indeed the universally applied wisdom about how to live.


REFERENCES:

Australian Heritage Commission. 1994. National Estate, National Parks, World Heritage, National Trust ... What's the Difference? Canberra, ACT.
Bates, Gary. 1995. Interview by author, 15th March, Gunning. Shire Councillor, Gunning.
Bentham, Jeremy. 1994. "The Principle of Utility." In Ethics, edited by Peter Singer, 306 - 312. Oxford : Oxford University Press.
Colman, James. 1975. Gundaroo. A report to the National Trust of Australia (NSW) on the township of Gundaroo. Prepared by the Office of James Colman Ltd.
Cooper, David E. 1992. The Environment in Question : Ethics and Global Issues. London and New York : Routledge.
Edwards, A. Trystan. 1946. Good and Bad Manners in Architecture. John Tiranti Ltd and Palmer, Joy A (eds).
Gundaroo Community Association. 1994. Gunning Development Control Plan No. 1 (Gundaroo).
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Gunning Shire Council. 1993. Gunning Local Environment Plan.
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Gunning Shire Council 1994. State of the Environment Report.
Lawrence, Ian. 1995. Interview by author, 17th May, University of Canberra. Water Management ACT.
Lawton, Elizabeth. 1995. Interview by author, 30th March, Gundaroo.
National Trust of Australia (NSW). 1982. National Trust Register. Observatory Hill Sydney, NSW.
Singer, Peter. 1993. Practical Ethics. 2nd edition. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.
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Willett, Helen. 1995. Interview by author, 21st March, Gundaroo. Shire Council member, Gunning Shire Council.
Wright, Julia. 1995. Interview by author, 2nd April, Canberra.