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A question of balance in integrated assessment: negotiating away the environmental interest in Australia's Basslink Project

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Duncan, R and Hay, P (2007) A question of balance in integrated assessment: negotiating away the environmental interest in Australia's Basslink Project. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, 9 (3). pp. 273-297. ISSN 1464-3332

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Abstract

It is argued that under the guise of integrated impact assessment, environmental capacity and quality are being eroded rather than enhanced. This proposition is examined in the context of a World Heritage Area and an integrated impact assessment process for a major energy infrastructure project in Australia known as Basslink. The case study, which charts the negotiations that took place between a proponent, environmental researchers, consultants, regulators and decision-makers for an environmental flow for the iconic Gordon River in Tasmania, describes the ‘balance’ that was struck in the name of sustainable development. It demonstrates that, while social and economic benefits tend to be identified as one and the same, the environment is constituted as an oppositional ‘good’. We argue that this outcome is the rule rather than the exception and caution that integrated assessments could serve to ‘fast-track’ the loss of environmental capacity and quality.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: integrated assessment, Basslink, balance discourse, World Heritage
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management
Page Range: pp. 273-297
ISSN: 1464-3332
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1142/S1464333207002792
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2007 22:23
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:24
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