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Irrigated agriculture and place-making in the East Kimberley

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This paper explores the way in which lived experiences of farmers in the Ord Valley have intersected with representations of the Ord Valley over time. I contrast the development of Stage 1 of the Ord River Irrigation Scheme in the 1960s with a proposal put forward in the late 1990s for greatly expanding the area of irrigated agriculture as Stage 2 of the scheme. I examine the rhetoric employed in planning documents and public media coverage of the first and proposed second stages of the Ord Irrigation Scheme and explore its connections with social identifications of farmers in the Ord Valley since the 1960s. I then argue the value of this approach for understanding the dynamic relationship between the spatial practices and social identifications of farmers and representations of place and land use in public media and planning processes.

Keywords: East Kimberley; Ord Valley; Place-making; agriculture; irrigation; land-use change; planning; representations

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: RMIT University Australia

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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