Identifying tensions in the development of northern Australia: implications for governance

Stephens, Anne, Oppermann, Elspeth, Turnour, Jim, Brewer, Tom, O'Brien, Chris, Rayner, Tom, Blackwood, Gemma, and Dale, Allan P. (2015) Identifying tensions in the development of northern Australia: implications for governance. Journal of Economic and Social Policy, 17 (1).

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Abstract

Northern Australia has a population of 1.2 million people across nearly half the continental landmass. It is home to many diverse communities of people, including Aboriginal nations, descendants of European, Melanesian and Asian settlers and more recent arrivals. It is an area of globally significant natural beauty with unique ecologies. It also has strategic and economic importance to Australia. A contentious debate over the future of the region can be observed within three themes: Big development, big conservation and policies seeking Indigenous wellbeing. We argue that if the agendas associated with each of these themes and their associated agents are driven forward in isolation, the tensions between the three will compromise the health, wellbeing and economic coherence and vitality of the North. This paper presents an overview of the present governance landscape with a critique of the role of neoliberalism and neoliberal governmentality. It identifies some of the ways in which 'other' social values and ways of knowing are either marginalised or rendered invisible in these narratives of governance and development. In highlighting the tensions that result from these exclusions, we argue there is a need to both understand these dynamics, and move towards an explicit commitment to open, genuine dialogue, inclusive of the communities that reside in northern Australia.

Item ID: 37994
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2202-4883
Keywords: northern Australia, neoliberalism, neoliberal governmentality, development, land conservation, Indigenous wellbeing
Funders: Northern Futures Collaborative Research Network
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2015 05:22
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development @ 80%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070106 Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness @ 20%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 20%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960705 Rural Land Policy @ 80%
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