Trajectories of Environmental Justice
From Histories to Futures and the Victorian Environmental Justice Agenda
Before the last state election, the current Victorian government promised from opposition to develop an Environmental Justice Plan if elected. It acknowledged international best practice as a benchmark for such a plan, though it did not recognise the legacy of environmental justice activism and scholarship locally. With the plan still in progress, this article considers the global histories and future directions of environmental justice and a literature-based framework for curating a Victorian plan. It breaks with the common understanding, including that held by government bureaucrats in Victoria, of environmental justice emerging from the United States in the 1980s. The article situates Victoria within that past, the current and future of the concept of environmental justice. Two notable recent legal events affirm the need for, and suggest the shape of, a Victorian environmental justice approach – the housing estate gas leak in outer suburban Melbourne and the Hazelwood coal mine fire in regional Victoria.
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