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Title: A case of place: Solastalgia comes before the court
Contributor(s): Kennedy, Amanda L  (author)
Publication Date: 2016
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.4225/03/5850a90950cf5Open Access Link
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Abstract: In 2005, Professor Glenn Albrecht wrote in this journal about the concept of 'solastalgia', a phenomenon he had witnessed and researched in the Upper Hunter Valley in Australia following the rapid expansion of open-cut coal mining. A combination of the concepts of solace and desolation, Albrecht's neologism attempted to capture the distress and suffering experienced by people when their place of residence was threatened by significant environmental transformation. In 2013, the concept came before the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales, in the case of 'Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association Inc v Minister for Planning and Infrastructure and Warkworth Mining Limited' [2013] NSWLEC 48. In this case, the Court overturned a government decision to approve an application to expand the Mount Thorley-Warkworth coal mine. The Court held that the expansion of the mine would have had significant negative impacts upon the community and the environment, which would not have been outweighed by the projected economic benefits to be gained. The decision was heralded as a triumph of David over Goliath; indeed, it has been rare for major development approvals of this kind to be subsequently overturned by the Court. This article explores how the relatively new concept of solastalgia was received by the Court in the 'Bulga' decision as a means to understand and articulate the psychological effects of place transition upon a community. It also discusses developments in the case since the appeal, contemplating how the notion of 'place' might be considered in future land use decisions involving mining.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Philosophy Activism Nature (12), p. 23-34
Publisher: PAN Partners
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1443-6124
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 180111 Environmental and Natural Resources Law
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 480203 Environmental law
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 190299 Environmental policy, legislation and standards not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article

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