Explorations in Australian legal geography: the evolution of lease tenures as policy instruments

Holmes, John (2014) Explorations in Australian legal geography: the evolution of lease tenures as policy instruments. Geographical Research, 52 4: 411-429. doi:10.1111/1745-5871.12083

Author Holmes, John
Title Explorations in Australian legal geography: the evolution of lease tenures as policy instruments
Journal name Geographical Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1745-5863
Publication date 2014-11
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1745-5871.12083
Open Access Status
Volume 52
Issue 4
Start page 411
End page 429
Total pages 19
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In their programmatic statement towards an Australian perspective on legal geography, Bartel et al. acknowledge that ‘it is perhaps in the institution of property and the regulation of land use that law has its most obvious overlap with geography … in a settler society such as Australia'. Given this statement, it is surprising that the seven co-authors fail to acknowledge the formidable contributions already made by Australian geographers within a highly relevant, substantial research agenda, namely the evolution of lease tenures as policy instruments in shaping rural land settlement and rural society. The earliest contributions on lease tenures were made by an eminent group of historical geographers enquiring into the evolution of a distinctive, adaptable portfolio of Australian land tenures and other resource rights in response to the challenges of frontier squatter settlement and the subsequent policy agenda in pursuit of closer settlement. Their successors have focused on the contemporary relevance of lease tenures as potentially adaptable instruments towards sustainability and coexistence. Geographers have also acted as consultants, policy advisers, advocates, and expert witnesses through consultancy reports, discussion papers, newspaper articles, and news reports. There is a strong case to be made that, together with Aboriginal land rights and native title, these two research agendas have provided the most substantial and coherent scholarly contributions to Australian legal geography. This deficiency in the review of Australian research may well be an outcome from a comparable deficiency in theorising property rights within the subdiscipline internationally. If Australian legal geography is to fulfil its potential, greater recognition needs to be given to foundational Australian contributions to this subdiscipline and to property rights theory in the matter of natural resources, notably land.
Keyword Legal geography
Lease tenures
Property rights
Land policy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2015 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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