A Study Of A Large Coastal Development Project

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In his text To the Beach: Community Conservation and Its Role in Sustainable Development Thor Kerr presents an illustrative and case study of a large coastal development project in Southern Australia. The framing of this coastal project is indicative of production operating under the ideology of ecological modernization, which functions with the assumption that science and technology can provide the solutions to ecological crisis with the help of economic agents such as innovators, entrepreneurs and technologists (Mol 1997). Ecological modernization is accompanied by the transfer of power to knowledgeable experts who are perceived as being best equipped to develop appropriate solutions to ecological crises(). Opponents of ecological…show more content…
While the project had the support of renowned sustainability scholar, Peter Newman, the NPQ consortium responsible for the project misjudged the reception their proposed project would receive from the nearby residents of Freemantle. Kerr suggests the failure of the development project resulted from the local community’s attachments to beaches, as being emblematic to the Western Australian way of life. The scarce urban beaches in Freemantle provide refuge for urbanites to escape the city, and hold important memories for Freemantle residents. The threat of large coastal development prompted resistance from community members and was appropriated by the Green Party to gain parliamentary power. Kerr traces the narrative of the failed coastal development project as a major topic in Western Australian elections, as it was framed by media sources in Western Australia, and how this project fits within the context of Australia’s colonial history and larger discourses on development. In the second chapter Kerr turns his attention to the colonial history of Australia. Colonization occurred using the discourses framed with maps, surveys, and language to evict and erase the presence of aboriginal peoples. Resistance to the appropriation of land by the indigenous peoples, referred to as the Nyoongah, living in the region around Freemantle was met with violence by the crown. As
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