Northern Australia: a contested landscape

Dale, Allan P., Potts, Ruth, and Harwood, Sharon (2017) Northern Australia: a contested landscape. In: Sipe, Neil, and Vella, Karen, (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Australian Urban and Regional Planning. Routledge, New York, USA, pp. 86-97.

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Abstract

There has been considerable public discussion around the future of northern Australia over the last 5 years (DPM&C, 2014; Schneiders, 2015). This is not the first time northern Australia has been positioned as the next frontier of national development (Megarrity, 2011). It is, however, the first time that the need to resolve major competing land use agendas in the north has featured as an all-pervasive policy challenge. These significant conflicts have been playing out at the landscape and community scale for the past 40 years (Dale, 2014). While attempts to resolve these complex conflicts have been recognized through ‘experiments’ in regional land use planning in the north, most are far from resolved, creating uncertainty for investors and concerned communities alike.

This chapter explores how landscape-scale conflicts have emerged in northern Australia and why they are nationally significant. It overviews several experiments in regional-scale land use planning across the north and their evolution. In doing so, we consider the evolution of these approaches through the lens of emerging new governance and planning theories. Our conclusions are that highly rationalist, centralist and non-adaptive forms of planning have generally failed northern Australia. We also contend that the northern Australian landscape is indeed suffering a crisis-in-confidence. This crisis has resulted from the failure of effective land use planning to provide a stable foundation for durable decision making for societal investment in commerce, infrastructure, Indigenous development and environmental protection and conservation.

Item ID: 51361
Item Type: Book Chapter (Non-Research)
ISBN: 978-1-138-81354-0
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2017 04:19
FoR Codes: 12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120505 Regional Analysis and Development @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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