Achieving ecologically sustainable natural resource management is one of Australia’s most significant environmental and economic challenges for the 21st century. Successful tackling our most pressing problems – salinity, water management, biodiversity conservation and climate change – is going to require an increasing integration of biophysical, legal, social and economic strategies. This is beginning to test the limits of the traditional neo-classical approach to environmental and natural resource management analysis and policy development. It is useful to examine what economics may learn from and add to analyses from other disciplines. Continuing to develop integrated interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary approaches to natural resource management will ensure that economics will remain an important part of environmental and resource policy making.