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Reaping the benefits of the transition: Discourses of the community and renewable energy development in rural NSW
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 09:54 authored by Patrick Robert McEvoy
This research investigated White Rock Wind Farm, under construction by Goldwind Australia in northern NSW. It intended to learn the significance of the project in local politics and understand the development of the project's community benefits fund. This thesis presents the results of discourse analysis of Goldwind Australia's public communications about the project, as well as reporting by local politicians and newspapers. It also presents analysis of the discursive construction of community within NSW guidelines for community consultation and the consequences for the appointment of community representatives to the White Rock Wind Farm Community Consultative Committee. This research found that major discursive elements of Goldwind Australia's representations of White Rock Wind Farm were reproduced within politician media releases and news articles, giving it a large degree of influence over public discussions of the project. Its representations of the project's benefits resonated with existing political discourses about economic development. It also found that the guidelines for community consultation define community as the people whose interests conflict with a development. Processes for appointing community representatives restrict access to people with high social capital, with consequences for the development of White Rock's community benefits fund.