Global Ecologies and Local Moralities: Conservation and Contention on Western Australia’s Gascoyne Coast
This chapter describes the community reactions and divisions occasioned by the World Heritage designations of Shark Bay (1991) and the Ningaloo Coast (2011) in the remote Gascoyne region of Australia. It considers how the reduction of the region’s isolation over the twentieth century, together with the growth of tourism and significant increases in conservation measures and environmental regulation, disrupted the lifestyles of communities which were formerly based around pastoral and fishing activities. The World Heritage designation processes generated considerable local resentment of and resistance to “outside interference”. The chapter uses Jacoby’s concept of moral ecology to interrogate the differing views of and aspirations for the Gascoyne coast held by the protagonists in these processes, and considers how these views have shifted over recent decades.