Issue 1

Rural Crime in Australia: Contemporary Concerns, Recent Research and Future Directions

This paper considers rural crime in Australia, a topic that until recently has lain dormant among criminologists. It summarises the substantive nature of rural crime by placing contemporary findings into historical perspective. It argues that problems associated with contemporary crime in rural areas have evolved from longstanding historical experience. Since its formation, Australia has had: a). a propensity for autocratic dominant state control; b). a concern with the miscarriage of justice; c). a concern with violence and, more subtly; an interpretation of rural areas as mundane. The paper describes the evolution of research on rural crime in Australia in conjunction with these concerns, which have dominated research and policy formation. It then presents recent research and social policies that indicate a growing and conscious awareness of the complexity of crime in rural areas. Finally, it addresses future directions for research and social policy addressing crime in rural Australia.

Patrick C. Jobes, Elaine Barclay, Joseph Donnemeyer & Adam Graycar

Page Number - 3

Australia's Regional Cities and Towns: Modelling Community Opportunity and Vulnerability

Economic restructuring over the last decade or so has created a wide diversity of positive and negative outcomes for regional cities and towns across Australia, evident through change in a range of socio-economic measures over the decade 1986–96. This paper develops and applies a multi-variate model to categorise community opportunity and vulnerability by identifying a typology of large regional cities and towns in Australia with populations over 10,000. Cluster analysis and discriminant analysis are used for a set of variables which measure both changes over the decade 1986–96 and static measures at the 1996 census of population, industry and occupation mix, income distribution, and social housing disadvantage. Spatial patterns in the performance of large regional cities and towns on the dimensions of change are identified and analysed, and some regional policy implications are raised.

Robert Stimson, Scott Baum, Patrick Mullins & Kevin O'Connor

Page Number - 23

Isolating the Consequences of Government Policy on Regional Development: Comparative Analysis of the State Border Regions of Australia

Regional policy from the national government level in Australia has been intermittent since federation with the consequence that most regional policy has emerged at State Government level. This provides an opportunity for comparative analysis of the effectiveness of regional policy on an interstate basis. In order to conduct comparative analysis, this paper identifies a number of special regions in Australia that were potentially homogenous, but this homogeneity has been disturbed by the arbitrary location of States' borders in the nineteenth century. Further research into the economic performance of the State border regions is recommended because it would add to the understanding of regional policy design and evaluation of policy effects.

Dennis Howard

Page Number - 83

Estimating the User Cost of Soil Erosion in Tea Smallholdings in Sri Lanka

Soil erosion in developing countries is a widespread problem causing considerable economic damage. It still remains an intractable problem in many countries. Available research findings on costs of soil erosion indicate them to be high. Soil erosion continues to be a problem due to the difficulties of estimating the economic damages and attendant difficulties in developing effective control policies. This paper considers soil to be a nonrenewable resource and estimates the marginal user costs using a yield damage function. Results indicate user costs to be low for individual farms. The low user costs are due to some of the assumptions made with respect to a number of parameters such as prices of tea, costs, and technological developments. The results also indicate that marginal user costs are sensitive to prices, soil depth and soil loss.

Gamini Herath

Page Number - 97

Regional Competition

Edward Nissan

Page Number - 114