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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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Assembling Peninsula Politics

Assembling Peninsula Politics

(p.103) Chapter 3 Assembling Peninsula Politics
Wild Articulations

Timothy Neale

University of Hawai'i Press

In interpreting the legislation, journalists and other third parties typically recycled rather than interrogated the historical contexts brought to bear by stakeholders. Reading this coverage, the controversy seemed to be the product of a singularly capable actor – the Act – rather than the renewal of existing conflicts. In fact, a mix of interests have contested the region’s future since the first grants of Indigenous land title in the mid-1980s. Chapter 3 presents a deeper understanding of the controversy’s legal and political conditions-of-possibility by examining the two histories consistently cited by stakeholders. Examining these events and their concurrent legal reforms, Chapter 3 shows that the controversy is the product of previous uncoordinated attempts to ‘settle’ Indigenous political concerns, both progressively and regressively, through contracts. As contractualism has become the naturalized mode of recognizing Indigenous land interests, agreements have themselves given Indigenous groups greater political influence while failing to resolve questions regarding the rights of governments and others to intervene in the governance and exploitation of country.

Keywords:   land rights, agreement-making, settler colonialism, green-black alliance

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