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Diversity and change in Australia’s rangelands: a post–productivist transition with a difference?

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Australia’s rangelands are experiencing a post–productivist transition at a tempo comparable to Western Europe’s, but in contexts that ensure marked divergence in impulses, actors, processes and outcomes. In Australia’s most marginal lands, a flimsy mode of pastoral occupance is being displaced by renewed indigenous occupance, conservation and tourism, with significant changes in land ownership, property rights, investment sources and power relations, but also with structural problems arising from fugitive income streams. The sharp delineation between structurally coherent commodity–oriented regions and emerging amenity–oriented regions can provisionally be mapped at a national scale. A comparison of Australia with Western Europe indicates that three distinct but interconnected driving forces are propelling the rural transition, namely: agricultural overcapacity; the emergence of amenity–oriented uses; and changing societal values.

Keywords: Australia rangelands; native title; pastoralism; post–productivist transition; property rights; regionalization

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: The University of Queensland

Publication date: 2002-09-01

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