The friction of fracking: discursive constraints on Aboriginal participation in coal seam gas in Northern NSW
Howlett, C & Hartwig, LD 2017, 'The friction of fracking: discursive constraints on Aboriginal participation in coal seam gas in Northern NSW', The Extractive Industries and Society, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 329-336.
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Australia’s economic development has historically been closely tied to the extractive industries sector. Currently, opportunities abound for Aboriginalpeoples to engage with, and potentially benefit from engagement with a variety of extractive industries. Using a case study of Coal Seam Gas (CSG) development in the State of New South Wales, this paper focusses upon the discursive constraints that can marginalise Indigenous agency in the complex milieu presented by CSG development. It argues that discursive framings can, and do, contribute to an ideological setting that may constrain attempts by Aboriginal people who seek to participate in the opportunities presented by extractive industries, particularly those extractive industries that are deemed environmentally risky or damaging. Employing the Strategic Relational Approach (SRA), it contends that discursive framings are not merely ideological tools that socially construct reality, but via the dialectic relationship between discursivity and materiality, they can have substantial material consequences for Aboriginal people.