Aborigines, mining companies and the state in contemporary Australia: A new political economy or ‘business as usual'?
Since the early 1990s major changes have occurred in the legal, policy and institutional context within which mineral development occurs on Aboriginal land in Australia. This article assesses whether these changes have substantially enhanced the capacity of Aboriginal people to control mining and share in its benefits. It examines, in turn, the major actors involved in mineral development in Australia, the policy positions they are adopting and the way in which they are behaving in relation to mining on Aboriginal land. It concludes that while some Aboriginal groups are gaining greater control over resource development, many have failed to do so, reflecting the fact that the legal, policy and institutional environment remains largely hostile to Aboriginal interests. Only adoption by Aboriginal people of effective political strategies operating on a number of scales can change this situation.
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