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Project 1.3.1 JCU McNamara, K. et al. (2010) Constructing the Torres Strait: Report on Policy, Media and Public Opinion

Project 1.3.1 JCU McNamara, K. et al. (2010) Constructing the Torres Strait: Report on Policy, Media and Public Opinion
The Torres Strait region holds special significance in the protection of Indigenous Australian culture and land rights, but is also gaining visibility as a site of climate change impacts and adaptation. While the 1992 Australian High Court decision to grant Native Title to traditional owners on Mer Island is probably best known internationally and nationally, the Torres Strait has more recently gained media and policy visibility in relation to unusually large tides and other inundations linked to climate change. This report examines how the Torres Strait region is constructed and represented, largely in relation to climate change, in a variety of forums: policy and discussions, popular media and public opinion. While not denying the impacts of climate change in the region, this report aims to interrogate how the Torres Strait is constructed in certain ways, such as being 'particularly' vulnerable to climate processes. This report identifies how the above three realms offer differing representations of the region. Both media and policy representations for instance implicate severe climate change in the identity of the region and as such construct Islanders as 'particularly' vulnerable subjects with low adaptive capacity. On the other hand, the results from the public opinion survey present alternative constructions of the region, based around culture, people and community. [pdf 464.9 kb]




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