Image Database Export Citations


Reimagining Northern Seascapes in Australia: Open Access, Common Property and the Return of Responsibility?

Show full item record

Type: Conference Paper
Author: Sharp, Nonie
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/387
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Land Tenure & Use
Region: Pacific and Australia
Subject(s): IASC
water resources
coastal regions
common pool resources
indigenous institutions
land tenure and use
open access
Abstract: "This paper focuses on the reimagining of sea space in Australia. It considers the distinctive ways in which rights are related to responsibilities in the common property regimes of indigenous Australia and contrasts these with the predominantly private property regimes introduced by a colonising culture. The growing insistence by indigenous coastal groups on their right to take primary responsibility for inherited marine common property domains along the coast is different to, but reconcilable with, a sense of responsibility among non-indigenous groupings. It is argued that each can make a unique contribution to a re-formed Australian identity and a reimagined marine space, one which respects the previously unacknowledged contribution of indigenous groupings to the management and care of their land-sea homelands. A crucial step in reimagining sea space is the exploration of how the dominant conception of coastal marine space as an 'open access' area for all Australians rendered customary marine tenures invisible, how this construction of marine space emerged historically in Europe in the transformation of land ownership from joint or common property to absolute individual ownership, and the association of the latter with 'free riding' individualism. The experiences and perspectives of indigenous communities on the northern coasts, related in this paper, their interrelations with other groupings, are informed and strengthened by a larger context which differentiates contrasting 'cultures of owning.' A necessarily widely focused and historical exploration seeks to reveal how the naturalisation of the dominant construction of marine space has precluded serious consideration of the positive contribution indigenous groupings embedded in common property situations may make towards responsible and non-exploitative practices. In the difficult and long passage ahead, the process of re-forming Australian identity may draw inspiration as well as practical expertise from those with different ways of going about conserving landscapes and seascapes for coming generations."

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
sharp.pdf 62.89Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following document type(s)

Show full item record