The 'nature' of environmental justice: ways forward for water planning in the Murray Darling (17079)
It is 20 years since the Council of Australian Governments articulated a new water management agenda for the Murray Darling. Economy and environment were to occupy centre stage, equally driving reform agendas intent on restoring natural values whilst embedding a marketised approach to water distribution via trading and other property rights. History suggests that integration of economy and environment has not fully emerged. The CoAG agendas did not establish decision making frameworks and strategies for delivering integrated responses and economy and environment have thus remained in tension, spatially and temporally. Tensions are expressed in community anger at perceived threats to economic and social decline which are juxtaposed alongside claims of environmental decline and a persistently whittled down environmental water allocation. In this paper, I bring to the fore the notion of environmental justice. I ask how and in what ways might a broader understanding of that concept, incorporating for example an understanding of the ‘nature’ of environmental justice, provide a basis for water planning frameworks that genuinely integrate economy and environment.