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NOTES FROM THE EDITORS

An introduction to Volume 23 Issue 1 by the Editors.

Bruce Wilson

Page Number - 1

PERCEIVED RISKS TO HOUSING UNAFFORDABILITY IN RESOURCE-LED REGIONAL COMMUNITIES: LESSONS FOR AUSTRALIAN REGIONAL CITIES

Periodic housing unaffordability in Australian resource-led regional cities has been continuing over the last two decades, creating pressures on the economic and social life of individuals to communities. This paper examines the perceived household risks to housing unaffordability in resource-led regional communities through a case study of Rockhampton and Gladstone cities in Queensland, Australia. Two hundred households were surveyed from these two cities and a probability based consensus and agreement method was then used to analyse the risks that the community perceived to exist due to housing unaffordability. The study found that economic and social risks and stresses such as extra pressures on household budgets, long commuting time, and difficulty with children’s schooling, moving away from friends and relatives and poor health were the most common perceived risks in these two communities. The result of chi-square tests confirmed that perceived risks of housing unaffordability vary over different socio-demographic backgrounds and also that the level of risks vary over types of perceived risks. Although this study is partially skewed towards female and senior participants, these findings provide lessons for similar Australian resource-led regional cities. Policy makers can use the results to address the risks associated with housing unaffordability in these cities.

Delwar Akbar, John Rolfe and Rahat Hossain

Page Number - 2

PLACE BRANDING: VIABLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY OR PRACTITIONER PLACEBO

Much has been written about place branding in recent years. Some authors believe a city’s brand is an important asset in positioning a city for future growth (Ashworth and Kavaratzis, 2009). Others believe logos and slogans have a limited impact (Govers, 2013) and development efforts should be concentrated in other areas. What the literature does agree on is the practitioner community’s fascination with superficial branding. Useful or not, the use of slogans and logos is certainly popular. So popular in fact, many cities have multiple place branding slogans. The U.S. cities of Austin, TX and Boulder, CO are good examples. Austin wants to ‘Keep Austin Weird’ so it can continue as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’. Boulder claims to be ‘The Berkeley of the Rockies’ but it secretly longs to be ‘The People's Republic of Boulder’. While these slogans are certainly clever, the real question is do they provide any real economic benefit?

Michael C. Carroll and Steven Nelson

Page Number - 27

ACCESSIBILITY OF ANBESSA CITY BUS SERVICE IN ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA: AN ANALYSIS OF STAKEHOLDER’S OPINIONS

Addis Ababa is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, yet is constrained by poor accessibility of city bus services. This paper examines the factors affecting the accessibility of Anbessa City bus service in Addis Ababa through an analysis of the stakeholders’ opinions. An exploratory research approach was taken, using in-depth interviews with the city bus transport regulators and Anbessa city bus transport service enterprise. The study found that inadequate infrastructure, poor transport operation and ineffective performance of stakeholders have resulted in inaccessible service to the users. Addressing the expectations of users necessitates engagement of modern public transport operation; strengthening the regulatory mechanisms and (traffic) law enforcement system; acquisition of skilled human, technology and materials resources; and attraction of private operators through different incentive mechanisms.

Kelbesa Kenea, Susan Kinnear and Delwar Akbar

Page Number - 48

THE REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARADOX: ATTEMPTING POLICY ORDER IN THE FACE OF SOCIETAL COMPLEXITY

Regional economic development, in its various guises and manifestations, is deployed throughout much of Australia. Whilst it remains a contested activity, the conventional wisdom of orthodox regional development practice extols the need to embrace complexity, recognise ambiguity and account for multiplicity, whilst simultaneously managing uncertainty and risks through imbuing policy order and control. Theoretical insights suggest that regional development organisations are often intended to be the primary interface between complex governmental and regional socio-economic systems. Derived from an analysis of the Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Committee, we find that its regional economic strategy is preoccupied with providing the appearance of policy order; reflecting a bias towards structured processes and transactional relationships, which eschew societal complexities. This conceptual paper uses a case study to provide an entry point to critique the design of Regional Development Australia Committees as we seek to contribute to a richer understanding of the complexity that confronts economic development practitioners.

Lee Pugalis and Darren Keegan

Page Number - 68

GOING OFF THE BEATEN TRACK: EXPLORING CHINESE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS’ MOTIVATIONS IN SELECTING A REGIONAL AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITY

Following Tasmania’s adoption of its international education policy, an increasing number of Chinese international students have enrolled at the University of Tasmania (UTAS), which is a regional Australian university. This is a variation in trend from the choice of the majority of Chinese international students who attend universities in Australian metropolises. This study aims to understand the motivations of Chinese international students who have made this decision. Through analysing data from 456 (valid) questionnaires and 23 interviews with UTAS Chinese international students, this research indicated that the primary motivators for the UTAS choice were: more competitive tuition fees, a larger number of scholarships, quicker and easier offers, joint education programs, specialist courses, ease of graduation, acceptance of credit transfer, immigration prospects, and recommendations. These identified motivations could be interpreted in four more explicit dimensions: strategic competition with other Australian universities, attractions for students with diverse backgrounds, regional advantage, and specific promotion.

Qian (Amanda) Wu and Marion Myhill

Page Number - 96

CREATIVITY IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIAN ACCOUNTING FIRMS

Regional accounting firms face significant challenges, such as increasing competition, limited resources, and pressure to provide diverse and complex services. Creativity is considered essential in addressing these challenges. Accordingly, this study investigates how creativity is perceived and the extent to which it is supported in regional Australian accounting firms. This study involves a survey of accountants working in regional Australian accounting firms. While prior studies suggest there is a perceived conflict between accountant’s creativity and their ethical decision-making, as well as a perceived conflict between accountant’s creativity and productivity; the results of this study suggest that these perceptions are not widely held within regional Australian firms. Rather, this study identifies a culture within regional firms that is perceived to be moderately supportive of creativity and an overall attitude that creativity is valued in regional Australian accounting firms.

Kirsty Meredith and Peter Baxter

Page Number - 120