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Latest issue of the Australasian Journal of Regional Studies

NOTES FROM THE EDITORS

Introduction to Volume 24 No. 2 of the Australasian Journal of Regional Studies

MIKE HEFFERAN AND BRUCE WILSON

Page Number - 122

WAGE INEQUALITY ACROSS AUSTRALIAN LABOUR MARKET REGIONS

This paper considers the patterns of inequality in wage and salaries across labour markets in Australia. Using data sourced from the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the paper develops several measures of wage and salary inequality and considers both the regional differences in, and the potential drivers of, inequality at the regional level. The research reported illustrates the uneven nature of the wage inequality issue across Australian regions, illustrating the regional winners and losers in terms of inequality outcomes, and suggests that a number of regional level factors may be important in understanding the differences in inequality outcomes reported.

SCOTT BAUM, MICHAEL FLANAGAN, WILLIAM MITCHELL AND ROBERT STIMSON

Page Number - 124

ASSESSING THE VALUE OF PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE AT A REGIONAL LEVEL: COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS SUPPLEMENTED BY ECONOMIC IMPACT ANALYSIS

Evaluation of regional public infrastructure projects is needed to ensure the effective and efficient use of scarce taxpayer funds. There are several methods used to evaluate public infrastructure projects, including cost benefit analysis (CBA) and economic impact analysis (EIA). CBA is widely used by governments to estimate the real social value of a project. However, CBA does not necessarily account for regional impacts such as the effects on employment and growth and, thus, may not be adequate to properly measure regional impacts against related government policy objectives. Governments can use EIA to capture these impacts as an adjunct to CBA. This paper reviews the pros and cons of both CBA and EIA and presents an empirical analysis of both appraisal approaches. Both approaches are applied to a case study of the proposed South West Illawarra Rail Link (SWIRL), which is a $1.6 billion infrastructure project designed to improve the railway connectivity between Greater Sydney and the Illawarra region.

JOE BRANIGAN AND FARIBA RAMEZANI

Page Number - 147

THE BUSINESS AND POLITICS OF FARMERS’ MARKETS: CONSUMER PERSPECTIVES FROM BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA

Very few studies have examined the reasons consumers attend Australian Farmers’ Markets. This empirical study uses four benefits, articulated in the Australian Farmer’s Market Association Strategic Plan (2017-2019), to organise and identify consumer motivations at the Byron Bay Farmers’ Market. Consumers are the focus of this paper, which draws on the concepts of alterity and embeddedness to reveal a range of motivations and consumer engagement. The findings reveal a surprising mix of reflexivity and re-embedding shaped by both regional culture and individual motivations. Common across all participants was a sincere commitment to the local community and their attachment to ethical consumption.

CATHERINE BURNS, ANNE CULLEN, HAYLEY BRIGGS

Page Number - 168

LAND VALUE TAXATION: OPPORTUNITY AND CHALLENGES FOR FUNDING REGIONAL AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

Australia and New Zealand have highly centralised tax systems and are low taxing countries, they are both in the bottom quartile of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in tax collection effort as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). A common fiscal reform stemming from national tax reviews in Australia and New Zealand recommend improving tax effort from recurrent land value taxation. This paper examines the status of the administration of recurrent land and property taxation, how it has evolved and how it might be reformed in achieving additional revenue that would benefit regional New Zealand and Australia.
A simulation approach is used to examine how land value is determined and define the factors that have resulted in the transition to alternate bases of value, used by local government in parts of Australia and New Zealand, to assess council rates. The paper finds that while challenges exist in the determination of value in highly urbanised locations, a codified approach can be used to create a uniform basis of value on which land may be taxed. The paper concludes that challenges confronting the determination of land value should not deter an impost on land and that land is a base among other forms of taxation that may be equalised to assist funding in regional Australia and New Zealand.

VINCE MANGIONI

Page Number - 191

ESTABLISHING A SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BASELINE PRIOR TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN OFFSHORE OIL INDUSTRY: AN EXAMPLE FROM THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN BIGHT

The potential development of an oil industry in the Great Australian Bight provides a number of opportunities and challenges. Potentially, the development may affect local communities, regional economies and the environment. Developing a baseline, before any development takes place, enables changes due to the development being better identified and understood. The aim of this study was to develop a comprehensive baseline for the social and economic environment of the region most likely to be impacted by the development of an oil industry in the Great Australian Bight. The baseline study identified that the region is characterised by a small and sparsely distributed population, highly dependent on primary industries for the most part. The study also identified that there is a strong attachment to place in the region, with the current pristine coastal and marine environment a key factor underlying this attachment.

SEAN PASCOE, ANDREW BEER, CHARMAINE THREDGOLD, MICHAEL YOUNG AND STEVE WHETTON

Page Number - 213

REGIONAL TRADE AGREEMENTS AND THEIR IMPACT ON EXPORT FIRMS

The purpose of this study is to examine important dimensions related to regional trade cooperation that range from facilitation measures to trade barriers and the implications of these in Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs). In particular, the study explores some of the implications of RTAs on the business community in Fiji, with a special focus on exporters. This paper has adopted a triangulation method that incorporates the use of survey research, interviews and descriptive statistics. The findings of the research highlight that the vast majority of firms also do not utilise the free trade provisions laid out in RTAs and very few felt the relevance of these RTAs in terms their exports. The results reveal that the utilisation of RTAs depends on the support of state institutions related to exporting. Nevertheless, the firms have revealed that they have seen increased competition (post RTA) in the market place.

GURMEET SINGH, MOUREEN CHAND, NEELESH GOUNDER AND JUSTIN PAUL

Page Number - 237