Mt Lesuer as a 'space of engagement': a rural-urban, cross-class conservation campaign

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Title Mt Lesuer as a 'space of engagement': a rural-urban, cross-class conservation campaign
Author Bailey, Janis Mary
Journal Name Labour History
Editor Greg Patmore
Year Published 2010
Place of publication Sydney
Publisher Australian Society for the Study of Labour History
Abstract In 1989, the mining giant Conzinc Riotinto of Australia (CRA) announced its intention to establish a coal mine and a privately owned power station near Mt Lesueur in Western Australia (WA). Local farmers initiated a campaign against the proposal, with other residents, unions, environmental movement organisations, artists and scientists being crucial to strategy formation and implementation. Campaigners faced the reality that although the Mt Lesueur area had enormous conservation significance, it was not a pristine wilderness and was not well known, so its importance needed to be communicated to broader publics. Campaigners exploited chinks in the political opportunity structure by means of a collaborative campaign that relied on a carefully developed and well-coordinated campaigning network, with participants respecting others' very disparate identities, contributions and strengths. Unusual features of the campaign included the involvement of the union movement in the form of Perth-based artworker activists, rather than construction workers or coal miners. Conzinc Riotinto of Australia withdrew its plans in 1990, and the WA government subsequently gazetted the Lesueur National Park in 1992. The campaign illustrates the point that in order to understand alliances against the owners of big capital we must stretch the definition of 'worker' and, crucially, pay careful attention to socio-spatial issues if we are to understand how cross-class, rural-urban alliances develop in working landscapes.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Copyright Statement Copyright 2010 Australian Society for the Study of Labour History. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 99
Page from 37
Page to 54
ISSN 0023-6942
Date Accessioned 2011-02-14
Language en_AU
Research Centre Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject Industrial Relations
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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