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ANZRSAI 2015
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NOTES FROM THE EDITORS

We are pleased to present the latest issue of our journal, drawing together diverse components of regional science and a range of current and emerging issues identified by these authors.

MIKE HEFFERAN AND BRUCE WILSON

Page Number - 329

GLOBAL AND LOCALLY-SPECIFIC RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ALCOHOL OUTLET DENSITY AND PROPERTY DAMAGE: EVIDENCE FROM NEW ZEALAND

In this paper, we explore the relationship between alcohol outlet density (by type of outlet) and property damage at the local level in New Zealand, controlling for population density and local social deprivation. We employ geographically weighted regression (GWR) to test for spatial heterogeneity in the relationships. We find that alcohol outlet density of all types has statistically significant and positive relationships with property damage events, and that these relationships do not show significant spatial variation. This suggests that approaches to controlling outlet density would have similar effects on property damage, regardless of where they are implemented. (JEL: C21; R52)

MICHAEL P CAMERON, WILLIAM COCHRANE, CRAIG GORDON AND MICHAEL LIVINGSTON

Page Number - 331

LOCAL COUNCIL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF POLICY CHANGE AND PROPOSED ALMAGAMATIONS

New South Wales (NSW) councils are tasked with providing a wide range of resources and services to their communities. However, the conditions and rules under which councils are allowed to operate are not constant. Changes in state government policies and political affiliation have the capacity to alter the focus and rules under which councils function. Political and economic events result in new and sometimes radically different requirements with which councils are required to conform. As policies change, reforms are introduced and the political landscape alters, councils are expected to alter their actions to coincide with expectations of the state government, while still meeting the needs and expectations of their respective communities. This paper evaluates the way that councils have reacted to changes in investment policy prior, and subsequent to, the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and compares those actions to those currently being undertaken by councils in response to the state government review of local councils with a particular focus on measures of financial viability. The purpose is to demonstrate how council’s actions are influenced by changes to policy and requirements of the state government and to consider the role that accounting plays in facilitating council’s actions. One purpose of financial reports is to provide information to assist users to make valid and informed decisions, to aid planning and inform strategic decision making. Financial reports which are affected by changing requirements due to the political environment, future financial and governance decisions will also be impacted.

GREG JONES, GRAHAM BOWREY, CLAIRE BEATTLE AND CIORSTAN SMARK

Page Number - 355

EFFECTIVE EXIT PLANNING IN REGIONAL SMALL BUSINESSES – A BORROW FROM THE ‘SPECIALISED CLUSTERS’APPROACH

Efficient functioning small businesses and their continuance over time, independent of the owner(s), carry high significance for remote regions’ long- term social and economic sustainability. This empirical investigation of exit planning practices among regional small businesses in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia, provides evidence that the particular environment in which these businesses operate determine and drive owners’ strategic exit planning initiatives. Regional SMEs are prone to peculiar internal and external variables with inertial forces that continuously impact on the owners’ decision to exit or continue into the business. Resorting to Schatzki’s (2002) ‘site of the social’ theoretical construct, this paper argues that the ‘exit planning’ social practice among regional SMEs can be efficiently developed and institutionalized at a wider level on their peculiar ‘site’ of being regional and small. Thus, a borrow from the ‘specialised clusters’ technique on the part of State government is the best way forward to effectively tackle the phenomenon.

ASHFAQ AHMED KHAN

Page Number - 375

THE ECONOMIC AND EMPLOYMENT IMPACTS OF SHOPPING MALL DEVELOPMENTS ON REGIONAL AND PERI- URBAN AUSTRALIAN TOWNS

Shopping mall development in regional towns typically comes with the promise of increases in economic activity and local employment. In contemporary Australia they are often welcomed because of this, and the brands, chain stores, glamour and/or cheaper prices they bring. Nevertheless, there is a thesis that that disputes these purported benefits. Advocates and defenders of endogenous dynamism and traditional town precincts argue shopping malls sideline local entrepreneurship and innovation with negative repercussions for local economic activity and employment. This research provides new empirical research into the short and long term effects of shopping malls on Australian regional towns. It does so by testing the claims of both shopping centre advocates and detractors by comparing ABS Workplace data before and after the opening of major malls in three Australia regional towns, and then between nine towns that have had either shopping malls or traditional town centres for over 20 years. The research showed no evidence of increases in economic activity over the short term following the opening of a major shopping mall and evidence of diminished economic activity and employment over the long term.

MICHAEL MCGREEVY

Page Number - 402

INTRA-METROPOLITAN HOUSING SUPPLY ELASTICITY IN AUSTRALIA: A SPATIAL ANALYSIS OF ADELAIDE

This article estimates the supply elasticity of new housing for local government areas (LGAs) within Adelaide in South Australia by employing the urban growth model developed originally by Meyer and Somerville. In particular, we extend Gitelman and Otto’s subsequent work in several ways. We employ narrower time intervals and consider different types of residential accommodation. Moreover, we include other geo-economic variables that potentially affect new supply, such as a spatially lagged dependent variable that assesses how supply conditions in one suburban region may subsequently influence supply in adjoining locations. Our findings suggest that the elasticity of new supply is up to 15 per cent over 10 quarters and thus sensitive to price changes, albeit lagged. Furthermore, we find that an LGA’s land area and proximity to the coast are positively correlated with new housing supply, while its residents’ average incomes and the level of building approval activity in neighbouring LGAs are negatively correlated with new supply. These findings have several potential implications for Metropolitan planning strategies.

RALPH McLAUGHLIN, TONY SORENSEN AND SONY GLAVAC

Page Number - 435

AGRICULTURE IN A GAS ERA: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF QUEENSLAND AND BRITISH COLUMBIA’S AGRICULTURAL LAND PROTECTION AND UNCONVENTIONAL GAS REGIMES

The Australian Senate’s Interim Report on Unconventional Gas Mining was released in June 2016, following heightened political awareness of continuing public outcry relating to unconventional gas exploration. In Queensland, the state government has supported the gas industry’s headlong rush into this profitable resource sector, to the consternation of farmers who have few statutory rights to disallow access by resource companies to their agricultural land. In the early sections of this paper, we review current agricultural land protection legislation in Queensland and British Columbia; two Commonwealth states with similar socio-political and legal systems and growing unconventional gas industries. The review provides the basis of a critical analysis of ‘active’ adaptive management as a regulatory framework facilitating optimal coexistence between agriculture and unconventional natural gas. In the remaining section we apply the framework of ‘active’ adaptive management in a comparative legal analysis of the land protection and oil and gas agencies as well as agricultural land protection regulation in British Columbia and Queensland. In conclusion, we identify the Agricultural Land Commission system in British Columbia, Canada as exemplifying elements of ‘active’ adaptive management to assist in facilitating coexistence between arable land and unconventional gas operations.

MADELINE ELIZABETH TAYLOR AND SUSANNE TAYLOR

Page Number - 459