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NOTES FROM THE EDITORS

Introduction to Volume 24 No. 3 of the Australasian Journal of Regional Studies

Page Number - 256

PLANNING FOR NATURAL HAZARD RESILIENCE: AN ASSESSMENT OF CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN DISASTER MANAGEMENT POLICY AND STRATEGY

As climatic trends point to an increase in the severity of natural hazard conditions, the risk to Australian settlements is only increasing. Although these events are unavoidable, resilience management seeks to foster greater adaptive capacity through new-age policies and strategies. This paper provides an assessment of contemporary Australian disaster management policies and aims to determine how strategic plans incorporate and foster resilience through planning interventions. A key aim is to comparatively assess, through the application of a discursive methodology of analysis, the differences that lie between these plans to gauge the current state of resilience management in an Australian context.

LUKAS DAVIS AND KATHRYN DAVIDSON

Page Number - 258

NEW DIMENSIONS IN LAND TENURE – THE CURRENT STATUS AND ISSUES SURROUNDING NATIVE TITLE IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

The acquisition and use of real property is fundamental to practically all types of resource and infrastructure projects. The success of those activities is based, in no small way, on the reliability of the underlying tenure and Land management systems operating across all Australian states and territories. Against that background, however, the historic Mabo (1992) decision gave recognition to Indigenous land rights and the subsequent enactment of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth.) (NTA) ushered in an emerging and complex new aspect of property law. While receiving wide political and community support, these changes have had a significant effect on those long-established tenure systems. Further, it has only been over time, as diverse property dealings have been encountered, that the full implications of the new legislation and its operations have become clear. Regional areas are more likely to encounter native title issues than are urban environments due, in part, to the presence of large scale agricultural and pastoral tenures and of significant areas of un-alienated crown land, where native title may not have been extinguished. Despite the NTA, numerous cases have emerged where the application of legislative guidelines has proven incomplete and many of those cases remain unresolved, thus complicating property dealings for both the public and private sectors. Research leading to this paper indicates that these issues and their implications are poorly understood, even by professionals involved. This paper, drawing from recent PhD research, specific examples and court decisions, presents a summary of the nature and processes of such dealings, identifies some of the key factors that typically frustrate early resolution and calls for the urgent production of operational guidelines and professional training in these areas, so relevant to regional Australia.

JUDE MANNIX AND MICHAEL HEFFERAN

Page Number - 284

NEW DIMENSIONS IN LAND TENURE – THE CURRENT STATUS AND ISSUES SURROUNDING CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

Carbon sequestration became topical following the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (United Nations, 1992) and Kyoto Protocol (United Nations, 1998) which identified emissions trading as a mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In Australia a legislative framework was established to recognise carbon in forestry as a property right to enable participation in emissions trading schemes. Carbon rights offer rural landholders the opportunity to generate an alternative income stream on their land. However, there are considerable complexities surrounding carbon rights which are generally poorly understood, including the importance of the carbon agreement where the carbon rights are transferred to a third party. This paper builds on PhD research and provides a description of the substance and form of the carbon right in Australia and proposes a series of issues to consider for inclusion in a carbon agreement.

ANDREA BLAKE

Page Number - 309

SOCIAL VALUES AND GROWTH AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN THE LONG-RUN

Social values are dynamic and may change with development, potentially having severe consequences on a region’s ecosystem services. These values are often inadequately captured. We consider a region rich in natural capital—the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Australia—and examine how important a range of different factors which include, but are not limited to, ecosystem services (ES) are to people’s overall quality of life. We acknowledge that people’s perception of the importance of different factors vary systematically between those who are dependent upon different industries for their household income. Community values are thus shown to depend upon industry composition and demographic composition. We conclude that in small communities, rapid growth in particular sectors may start an endogenous cycle of changing values which define future economic trajectories. This will affect ecological trajectories.

MICHELLE ESPARON, MARINA FARR, SILVA LARSON AND NATALIE STOECKL

Page Number - 327

HOW TWO BECAME ONE: THE CREATION OF THE ARMIDALE REGIONAL COUNCIL

After the New South Wales (NSW) Fit for the Future municipal amalgamation determination in May 2016, local authorities targeted for forced merger had elected officials replaced with a state-government appointed Administrator, tenured until the next mandated local government election in September 2017. As both an officially appointed political representative and professional administrator, the role of the Administrator in post-merger councils is controversial. In this paper we examine the forced amalgamation of the Armidale Dumaresq Council (ADC) and the Guyra Shire Council (GSC) into Armidale Regional Council (ARC) through the eyes of its Administrator Dr Ian Tiley. This study provides a case study into the functions and responsibilities of the Administrator role and how it shaped the ARC merger process. While a substantial literature has considered the NSW Fit for the Future amalgamation program, to date no scholars have specifically examined the challenges confronting Administrators per se. This paper thus seeks to address this gap in the literature by way of a case study of the ARC Administrator.

ANDREA WALLACE AND BRIAN DOLLERY

Page Number - 347

THREE PERSPECTIVES ON REGIONAL ECONOMIES: A CONVERGENCE ON ECOSYSTEMS AND PLATFORMS

Globalisation has given rise to a resurgence of regional economies. Scholars trying to understand this emergence have explored the phenomenon from different perspectives. It only makes sense that scholars write for different audiences. This preliminary systematic review examines the rise of the regional economy literature by examining different research streams. These streams are directed toward three different audiences: business managers, regional policy makers and university leaders. The review suggests that these three streams are beginning to converge on two key concepts: ecosystems and platforms. By pursuing this convergence, scholars can benefit from the different perspectives and develop tighter integration across these research streams. This integration will likely yield more valuable insights.

EDWARD F. MORRISON

Page Number - 367