Program Leader: Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh
This program focuses on the way in which politics, public policies, and institutions affect the impact of the mining, oil and gas industries on social and environmental sustainability. It includes a focus on issues surrounding resource development on Indigenous lands, examining relations between Indigenous, corporate and state actors and their consequences for the social and cultural sustainability of Indigenous peoples. Current projects include studies of negotiations regarding major resource projects on Indigenous lands in Australia and Canada; governance of Indigenous revenues from resource exploitation; interaction between environmental and Indigenous groups in response to development of coal seam and shale gas in Eastern Australia; and the use of contractual agreements between companies and communities as an alternative or complement to public environmental regulation. The program also includes a study of policy and governance issues involved in re-establishing mining in post-conflict Bougainville.
This program also explores the politics of sustainability more broadly, examining the political dynamics that shape decision making and impact assessment in a range of often highly contested areas nationally and globally. These areas include climate change, energy policy, renewable energy,genetic engineering, and a range of other related sustainability areas.
Other Program Staff
- Professor Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh
- Dr Giorel Curran
- Associate Professor Richard Hindmarsh
- Associate Professor Robyn Hollander
Useful Links and Information
Melbourne Law School and the Centre for Health and Society, University of Melbourne
In November 2012 Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh presented a seminar on the topic Extractive Industries and Indigenous Peoples: A Changing Dynamic? to the Melbourne Law School and the Centre for Health and Society, University of Melbourne. Ciaran used a case study of Liquefied Natural Gas development in the Kimberley region of Western Australia to examine whether recent developments in national and international recognition of Indigenous rights are creating opportunities for Indigenous people to shape the local impacts of extractive industries.
A video of Ciaran's seminar presentation is available at: http://www.atns.net.au/
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
On 9 September 2013 Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh presented a seminar on 'Cultural values, cultural heritage and agreement making in the mining and energy industries' at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra. Agreement making is the dominant form of engagement between Aboriginal Australia and the ever-expanding mining, oil and gas industries. The nature of that engagement has implications for Aboriginal cultural values and cultural heritage at a number of levels – the legislative framework within which agreement making occurs; the processes used in preparing for and conducting negotiations; the ‘strategic terrain’ of negotiations, where Aboriginal control over cultural heritage can be used to defend or enhance Aboriginal negotiating positions; and individual agreement provisions that deal specifically with cultural heritage and cultural values. In this seminar Professor O’Faircheallaigh identified issues that Aboriginal peoples and their advisers face at each of these levels, highlighting the diversity in approaches and outcomes currently emerging across Aboriginal Australia.