The green movement in Southeast Queensland: The environment, institutional failure, and social conflict

Eddy, Elizabeth (1996). The green movement in Southeast Queensland: The environment, institutional failure, and social conflict PhD Thesis, School of Political Science and International Studies, The University of Queensland.

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Author Eddy, Elizabeth
Thesis Title The green movement in Southeast Queensland: The environment, institutional failure, and social conflict
School, Centre or Institute School of Political Science and International Studies
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1996
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Supervisor -
Total pages 390
Language eng
Subjects 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards
Formatted abstract
This thesis examines the green movement in southeast Queensland from the late 1960s to the present. Over this period, the region of southeast Queensland experienced substantial social, demographic and political change. The Queensland and local governments were subjected to pressures from the community to address the social, economic, and environmental repercussions of urbanisation resulting from rapid population growth. The green movement contributed to rising dissent through expressing a range of environmental and social objectives. Throughout the 1980s, 'sustainability' emerged as a common theme across the otherwise diverse green movement to express its concerns. This thesis addresses this preoccupation, and shows that it signalled related perceptions of the causal link between prevailing social and environmental problems.

Several interpretations of the problematic relationship between social and environmental outcomes are identified in this thesis, with respect to the conservation, alternative community, and political green movements. These 'movements' were analytically distinct parts of the green movement in southeast Queensland. In each instance, the movements considered that institutional change was a fundamental requirement for resolving the causally linked social and environmental problems. The conservation movement advocated institutional reform of the political system, the political green movement promoted transformation of political and social institutions, and the alternative community engaged in the praxis of alternative institutions. These endeavours to realise institutional change to reconcile social and environmental objectives are referred to as 'environmental projects'.

This thesis also addresses the repercussions for the green movement of the changed institutional context arising from government reforms during the late 1980s. These reforms were initiated by state and local governments, and had controversial social, economic, and environmental consequences. The thesis shows that the endeavours by the green movement to turn these reforms to their advantage were met with only limited success. The problems they experienced provided the incentive for concerted attempts to consolidate the green movement within the region, and on a national scale. Green movement re-organisation in southeast Queensland primarily involved increased cooperation around electoral strategies, in spite of the different and often conflicting environmental projects. The thesis examines these attempts at cooperation, with specific emphasis on the national context which was assuming more relevance by the late 1980s. One major consequence was the formation of a national green electoral party with branches in several states including Queensland.

This thesis offers an account of environmental conflict in Australia that is different from other accounts in two ways. The first is the focus on the green movement in (southeast) Queensland, which to date has received little attention. Secondly, this thesis had adopted a movement-centred approach that is derived from the 'new social movement' scholarship, in which the movement is the central object of analysis. This differs from the more usual pressure groups approaches which have dominated the green movement literattire. Furthermore, while this thesis has a specific regional focus, the issues that are raised are linked to national and international developments. This suggests that the environmental conflict in southeast Queensland also has relevance for broader national and international issues.

Keyword Green movement -- Queensland
Environmental policy -- Queensland
Additional Notes The author has given permission for this thesis to be made open access.

Document type: Thesis
Collections: Queensland Past Online (QPO)
UQ Theses (RHD) - Open Access
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Created: Thu, 11 Mar 2010, 13:28:43 EST by Ms Natalie Hull on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service