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Queensland's broad-scale land-clearing policy debate, 1998–2006: An analysis of evidence-based arguments in news media content

  • Nathan Laurent (a1) and Lee Duffield (a2)
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.


This article outlines the methodology and key findings of a media content analysis of news reporting in the Courier-Mail and Queensland Country Life on the issue of broad-scale land-clearing (BSLC) in Queensland during the period 1998–2006. The case study identifies and examines evidence-based arguments made by stakeholders in the public policy debate surrounding BSLC, including elected officials and judges, interest groups, government agencies, scientists, business owners and individuals, such as academics. In both newspapers, it was noted that throughout the period under review, arguments made on environmental grounds in favour of the policy goal of maximum immediate conservation tended to be concerned with establishing an accurate definition of the BSLC problem. However, reporting of arguments made on political and economic grounds reflected stark differences between the two newspapers. The findings of this study support observations that some participants in a contest over new policy may dispute (persistently, and regardless of previous developments) the validity of: (1) definitions of a problem; (2) proposed policy solutions; (3) matters of detail or technical application; and (4) the enactment and implementation of legislation.



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Queensland's broad-scale land-clearing policy debate, 1998–2006: An analysis of evidence-based arguments in news media content

  • Nathan Laurent (a1) and Lee Duffield (a2)
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.


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