eCite Digital Repository

When interests trump institutions: Tasmania's forest policy network and the Bell Bay pulp mill


Gale, F, When interests trump institutions: Tasmania's forest policy network and the Bell Bay pulp mill, Environmental Politics, 22, (2) pp. 274-292. ISSN 0964-4016 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/09644016.2012.683150


Environmental politics is not always the outcome of the complex interplay of interests and institutions mediated by ideas. Sometimes naked self-interest prevails and proponents manipulate environmental institutions to achieve their goals. The way in which economic interests can trump environmental ideas and institutions is illustrated by the case of the proposed Bell Bay pulp mill in Tasmania, Australia, where Gunns Limited, a global timber company, sought permission to build a multi-billion dollar bleached kraft pulp mill. To expedite planning approval, the government backed the company in its decision to quit the state's environmental assessment system and put in place special legislation to deliver a sympathetic, fast-track review. While the Tasmanian case is a clear example of economic interests triumphing over environmental institutions, it is not unique. The case illustrates the limits of competitively elected government and the enduring power of closed policy networks, which are able to manipulate processes to deliver desired results.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:sustainability, political economy, forest, Tasmania, policy, governance, environmental assessment, Tasmania, forest conflict, policy networks, economic structures
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Environmental politics
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Environmental policy, legislation and standards
Objective Field:Environmental policy, legislation and standards not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Gale, F (Professor Fred Gale)
ID Code:85276
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2013-06-24
Last Modified:2015-02-23

Repository Staff Only: item control page