Auctions for conservation contracts are experiencing great popularity in Australia due to their perceived cost effectiveness. However, there is still much to be learned about this economic instrument. Queensland's state government recently decided to use an auction mechanism to allocate a $12 million incentives program. This was called the Queensland Vegetation Incentives Package (VIP), and was aimed at encouraging better protection and management of high value non-remnant vegetation. The PhD work of the presenting author is using the VIP as a case study to explore the use of auctions for conservation contracts in Queensland. In particular, observing the VIP gives insight into participant behaviour and the impact of the policy formation process on an auction for conservation contracts. The VIP is particularly interesting as this is the first time a tender mechanism is being used in Australia to distribute funds on a state-wide level. A preliminary analysis of the first two rounds has been undertaken and key lessons have been identified.


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