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Wild ArticulationsEnvironmentalism and Indigeneity in Northern Australia$
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Timothy Neale

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824873110

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824873110.001.0001

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Reading the Wild Rivers Act Controversy

Reading the Wild Rivers Act Controversy

(p.72) Chapter 2 Reading the Wild Rivers Act Controversy
Wild Articulations

Timothy Neale

University of Hawai'i Press

Today, there is a shift in the representations of Northern Australia and its environments. While Indigenous stakeholders have come to the forefront of debates, and the existence of ‘natural values’ and Indigenous ownership have become relatively uncontroversial, environmentalists and environmental regulation have been widely criticized. Chapter 2 surveys media coverage of the controversyin order to better understand these and other recent trends in environmental politics both nationally and internationally. In surveying media narratives, I show how the controversy provides an opportune moment to audit media coverage of Indigenous issues and its decisions regarding who was able to speak authoritatively for and about Northern Australia and its rivers. What remained consistent was the presentation of the region as both a remote and pristine environment and an essentially Indigenous domain, underdeveloped due to ‘meddling greenies’. If these were, as stakeholders largely agreed, ‘wild rivers,’ then what does their wildness now count for and for whom?

Keywords:   indigenous politics, journalism, rivers, representation, controversy

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