Understanding local community attitudes toward industrial development in the Great Barrier Reef region World Heritage Area: are environmental impacts perceived to overshadow economic benefits?

Benham, Claudia F. (2017) Understanding local community attitudes toward industrial development in the Great Barrier Reef region World Heritage Area: are environmental impacts perceived to overshadow economic benefits?. Natural Resources Forum, 41 1: 42-54. doi:10.1111/1477-8947.12112


Author Benham, Claudia F.
Title Understanding local community attitudes toward industrial development in the Great Barrier Reef region World Heritage Area: are environmental impacts perceived to overshadow economic benefits?
Journal name Natural Resources Forum   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1477-8947
0165-0203
Publication date 2017-02-01
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1477-8947.12112
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 41
Issue 1
Start page 42
End page 54
Total pages 13
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Abstract Conflicts between industrial development and environmental conservation can be particularly acute when such development occurs in the vicinity of World Heritage sites. A key example is the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) in northeastern Australia, where a 2012 review by the World Heritage Council found that rapid port development inshore of the coral reef posed significant risks to local marine ecosystems. Such instances pose pressing challenges for decision-makers seeking to manage World Heritage sites for multiple values and needs, including those of key stakeholder groups, such as local communities. There is increasingly a societal expectation that public decision-making takes into account local views and priorities, and that companies seek a ‘social license to operate’. This research explored local community attitudes toward port development associated with the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal through the GBRWHA. Using data drawn from a survey and interviews, the research examined how a range of geographical factors, including proximity to gas infrastructure and the perceived impacts and risks of development to the local community, economy and environment shape community perceptions of the industry. Findings suggest that local attitudes toward gas and coal terminal development inshore of the GBRWHA are shaped predominantly by community perceptions of environmental impacts and risks associated with such infrastructure, in contrast to a broader public narrative that focuses largely on economic benefits. A complex combination of other factors, including social impacts, personal environmental values, community trust in industry, and equity in decision-making and distribution of the risks and benefits of industrial development also contribute. Placed in a broader, global context, the findings have important implications for public decision-making processes in Australia and elsewhere as they suggest that, for local communities, the perceived impacts of gas development on the environment may overshadow the benefits of industry.
Keyword Local attitudes
Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
Social-ecological systems
Sustainable development
Marine environment
Unconventional gas
Coastal zone
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Global Change Institute Publications
HERDC Pre-Audit
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 1 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 09 Apr 2017, 01:00:32 EST by Web Cron on behalf of Global Change Institute