Environment, Race, and Nationhood in Australia

Revisiting the Empty North

  • Russell McGregor

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Russell McGregor
    Pages 1-22
  3. Russell McGregor
    Pages 23-43
  4. Russell McGregor
    Pages 45-63
  5. Russell McGregor
    Pages 65-82
  6. Russell McGregor
    Pages 83-102
  7. Russell McGregor
    Pages 103-121
  8. Russell McGregor
    Pages 123-137
  9. Russell McGregor
    Pages 139-159
  10. Russell McGregor
    Pages 161-181
  11. Russell McGregor
    Pages 183-201
  12. Russell McGregor
    Pages 203-220
  13. Russell McGregor
    Pages 221-239
  14. Back Matter
    Pages 241-256

About this book


This new study offers a timely and compelling account of why past generations of Australians have seen the north of the country as an empty land, and how those perceptions of Australia’s tropical regions impact current policy and shape the self-image of the nation. It considers the origins of these concerns - from fears of invasion and moral qualms about leaving resources lying idle, from apprehensions about white nationhood coming under international censure and misgivings about the natural attributes of the north - and elucidates Australians’ changing appreciations of the natural environments of the north, their shifting attitudes toward race and their unsettled conceptions of Asia.


Northern Australia Northern Territory Environmental Attitudes Environmental Policy Australian-Asian Relations Empty North White Australia Policy Northern Development Aboriginal People Agriculture History

Authors and affiliations

  • Russell McGregor
    • 1
  1. 1.James Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

Bibliographic information