This article provides a comparative analysis of localised contests over the reclamation of new islands for resort-style development projects in waters near tourist destinations in Bali and Western Australia. The research focuses on the Tirta Wahana Bali International Resort proposed for a seabed site in Benoa Bay, Bali, and the North Port Quay development proposed for a seabed site off the coast of Fremantle, Western Australia. The investigation finds that proximity plays a common critical role in the shaping of discourses, environmental alliances and planning determinations around the resort-island reclamation projects. Representations of the proposed new islands stimulated local community resistance movements because the projects reflected the utopian desires of their developers to create resort lifestyle communities that were geographically near yet socially far from people already enjoying the coastal waters targeted for reclamation. By comparing discourses around the two projects, we identify how the artful reimagining of environmental and cultural heritage within each of the resistance movements has influenced local politics and created opportunities for bringing Indigenous perspectives into public view to unsettle nationalist and colonial nativist views of lands and waters in tourist areas.
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Abstract included in PLA’s Research Connections article in Parks and Leisure Australia Vol 23.2 Winter 2020