Rural Communities in Transition and Sustainable Regional Development

Fiona Haslam McKenzie, Aileen Hoath, Amma Buckley, Lindsay Greer, John Rolfe


since colonial times but the industries have generally operated in separate
regions with limited overlaps. Over the last decade mining activity has
surpassed agriculture in both return on investment and contribution to gross
domestic product (GDP) and farming has continued to lose its share of
economic contribution. To date, most mining activity has been in remote and
regional areas of Australia where the deposits are richest, but sophisticated
extractive processes and high returns are now making deposits viable which
hither to have been considered marginal, many of which are in communities
where farming has been the main industry.
This paper will consider case study sites where mining is increasingly
encroaching on what has been traditionally productive farming land. For some
communities, mining is welcomed as an important off-farm income, for others,
mining is viewed as an environmental and social threat to the agricultural
industry. The stresses and strains as well as the opportunities presented by
transitional rural economies will be considered.
Keywords: mining, agriculture, farming, socio-economic development

Full Text:


The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.