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Monetary values have been attached to the natural environment, even in the absence of any real market. Conflict occurred between the instrumental and intrinsic ends of a value continuum. The contingent valuation method, with a hypothetical market, was used in the USA and trialled by the RAC. But it relied on doubtful survey techniques. Since the Mabo Case and the Coronation Hill Inquiry, Aboriginal cultural values have become decisive factors in environmental assessment. A value matrix model, incorporating a science-culture axis, is proposed.

“That a thing may have any value in exchange, two conditions are necessary. It must be of some use . . . it must conduce to some purpose, satisfy some desire. No one will pay a price or part with anything which serves some of his purposes, to obtain a thing which serves none of them. But, secondly, the thing must not only have some utility, there must also be some difficulty in its attainment.”

—J. S. Mill, 1847, Principles of Political Economy

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