It might be just, but it’s just not fair: exploring policy in the governing of natural resources

Miss Anna Leditschke1, Mr Mark-Stanton Bailey2

1University Of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

2Cities Research Institute, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia


The extraction of natural resources for human use is an internationally contentious, multifaceted and politically-charged issue. This conflict is often typified in the management and governance of these resources. This paper will explore various legislative mechanisms, such as the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991, which aim to administer the exploration and operational phases of fossil fuels and other minerals in a fair and impartial manner. Within these documents, there is often specific mention regarding the consideration and protection of the environment and affected communities, or appropriate compensation or rehabilitation where required.

The township of Gloucester, New South Wales will be used as the basis of investigation for this paper. Research uncovered that this rural community was heavily impacted by the approaches of the mining industry, as well as the legislation surrounding coal and gas exploration. The interpretation and implementation of applicable Acts and policy in this particular case study raises important questions concerning the nature of resources’ policy. This involves whether the measures to protect communities and environments from industrial harms actually provide the perception of justice within supposed unbiased governance systems.


Anna has very recently completed her PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of South Australia. Her work focuses upon understandings of procedural justice and stakeholder knowledge. She currently works as a researcher and lecturer at UniSA.

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