Coal seam gas in Australia: can activists be effective from the margins?

Tony Jaques, Chris Galloway


Activist groups have dual identities: the way they see themselves and the way others see them. Community opposition to coal seam gas and large-scale coal mining in Australia has highlighted this distinction as the radical “Lock the Gate Alliance” and others attempt to hold back the accelerating momentum of coal seam gas exploitation.

This paper backgrounds CSG development in Australia and applies activism, social identity and risk scholarship to examine this alliance of highly motivated opponents in terms of its self-identified roles and responses to industry and governments. It explores implications for organisations
confronted by radical activists who pursue a strategy of non-cooperation and questions the effectiveness of such an approach. The paper suggests that non-cooperation
may limit activists’ capacity to achieve their objectives.


activism; coal seam gas; social identity; risk

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The University of Newcastle
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