Finding common ground in weed management: peri-urban farming, environmental and lifestyle values and practices in southeast Queensland, Australia

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  • The information, practices and views in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

Abstract

Peri-urban landscapes are located nearby to a major metropolis and are undergoing rapid change from in-migration and the loss of agricultural land, resulting in a mix of rural, urban, and natural systems. These changing landscapes are fashioned from the discursive relationship between nature and culture, but at times are represented as predominately either natural or cultural areas, perpetuating a nature culture dualism. The values of various resident sociocultural groups are thought to mirror the separation of nature and culture, although other literature argues these groups are much more complex and interwoven in their values and practices. This paper explores a case study of landholders involved in weed management in southeast Queensland and supports the case that the groups are much more aligned in values and practice than is often represented in discourse, or as thought of by institutional practitioners. We argue that some institutions have employed a ‘separatist gaze’, dividing and stereotyping these actors, and aligning their services to one or other group through the compartmentalisation of their institutional functions. We argue that new forms of rural governance can bridge the common ground of these groups if they pay attention to the points of intersection between actors within the peri-urban landscape.

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