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Community Valuations of Environmental Quality in Coastal Lakes: Lake Illawarra Case Study*


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    The authors acknowledge Professor Harry Clarke (the editor) and two anonymous referees whose constructive inputs and comments improved an earlier version of this article. The usual caveat applies.

Ann Hodgkinson, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. Email:


This is the first Australian study to apply the hedonic pricing method to value environmental quality of an urban water body. It demonstrates the technique using a case study of a degraded urban lake that is currently undergoing a programme of water quality restoration and foreshore improvements. The results show that the community places significant value on proximity to the lake and on waterfront location. A range of other data was also generated that adds to the usefulness of this approach for general planning purposes. It is suggested that this technique would be a useful tool to aid in the allocation of public funds among competing environmental improvement projects.

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