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NOTES FROM THE EDITORS

An introduction to Volume 23 Issue 2 by the Editors.

MIKE HEFFERAN AND BRUCE WILSON

Page Number - 150

EXPLORING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN A REGIONAL COMMUNITY CONTEXT

It has become apparent in recent years that those at the coalface of economic development need to understand and appreciate the forces that influence the business decisions that affect each and every one of us (McLaren and Rowe, 2013). An understanding of globalisation and the fundamentals of competitive advantage are necessary because they directly influence corporate location decisions. A local economic development practitioner needs to grasp these essential concepts in order to influence, develop and adopt a strategy that is specifically designed for his or her local area. This article reviews the key concepts of competitiveness, globalisation and global cities, and develops a framework for understanding competitive advantage from the local economic development perspective. Against this background, we investigate the value of developing a solid business strategy, and consider why competitive advantage should be an integral component of strategic planning.

JAMES E. ROWE AND DON McLAREN

Page Number - 152

CAN CO-LOCATION ADDRESS FRAGMENTED RURAL MENTAL HEALTH CARE DELIVERY?—REGIONAL EVIDENCE FROM VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA

The online assessment of co-located mental health services across one Australian rural healthcare district aimed to provide baseline information to address the new federal Partners in Recovery program. The resulting website analysis of healthcare, wellbeing, and mental health providers in this rural healthcare district, identified 398 service offerings. City and town centres had a disproportionate share of medical services in general. That is, co-location largely occurred with the administration of hospital facilities and state-level organisations. Current trends creating large-scale administrative units and more contract outsourcing, may exacerbate existing rural mental health issues, given heightened situational factors, and need for change in policy approaches at several levels.

KATE L. CLARKE AND EDGAR BURNS

Page Number - 174

USING LAND-USE MODELLING TO STATISTICALLY DOWNSCALE POPULATION PROJECTIONS TO SMALL AREAS

This paper demonstrates a novel approach to small-area population projection that combines cohort-component projections, at the district level, with grid-based land use projections at a fine (four-hectare) geographical scale. Residential population is directly estimated in the land use model, while a separate statistical model is used to link non-residential population to non- residential land use (by type). The model projects future small-area populations using projections of future land use from the land use model. Four data and model specifications for the statistical modelling are compared. Overall, this model is useful because it generates greater stakeholder ‘buy-in’ than black-box or naïve approaches.

MICHAEL P. CAMERON AND WILLIAM COCHRANE

Page Number - 195

CREATIVE INDUSTRIES AND REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: CAN A CREATIVE INDUSTRIES HUB SPARK NEW WAYS TO GROW A REGIONAL ECONOMY?

By driving innovation, creative industries can underpin economic development. Much research and policy attention has centred on the geographic clustering of creative industries to spur economic growth. The geographical clustering of creative industries businesses is often viewed as an important driver of economic growth, particularly when it comes to networking and knowledge sharing for small and medium enterprises. There is a consensus among researchers that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to creative industries clusters driving economic change. Some argue to regionally develop creative industries clusters based on existing networks rather than create them from scratch by policy. In this case study, creative industries in Townsville in regional Australia were surveyed to explore the potential for a creative industries hub based on existing networks. The survey was augmented by interviews which indicate a robust level of information sharing, joint idea generation and a desire for innovation.

KATJA FLEISCHMANN, RICCARDO WELTERS AND RYAN DANIEL

Page Number - 217

THE IMPACT OF THE MINING BOOM ON THE DINING INDUSTRY IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which high growth in the Western Australia (WA) dining industry from 2004 to 2015— comprising of cafés, restaurants and takeaway food—was caused by the WA mining boom as compared to other factors. The study uses input-output modelling, supplemented with a timely empirical survey, differentiating between regional and metropolitan WA. The study finds that the mining boom accounted for more than half of the dining growth, with the remainder attributable to growth that would have occurred anyway without the mining boom, or to other changing lifestyle factors. The study also examines policy implications in a post mining boom environment and a need is indicated for policies which take advantage of opportunities in non-mining industries, like dining, and which create stable job opportunities.

ROBERT POWELL, MARIA RYAN AND SHARON LAMB

Page Number - 243

FAILURE TO THRIVE: WATER POLICY AND RURAL DEPOPULATION

This article will continue a longstanding narrative on the theme of rural depopulation, but will focus on two Australian policy settings: the user- pays framework which is driving the curtailment of water infrastructure in irrigation areas, and the treatment of positive externalities of agriculture in comparable jurisdictions. It argues that these two policy settings will result in lost opportunities to harness the multifunctional capacities of agricultural land. These policy settings reduce the viability of certain types of land use, thus creating pressure for the agglomeration of farming enterprises into fewer hands and the demise of exposed industries. This is of particular concern in some irrigation districts, in which a reduced consumptive pool in an area is said to have reached a ‘tipping point’ beyond which the remaining infrastructure cannot be maintained. The social disruption caused by this risks the creation of alternative opportunities for land use, potentially including the maintenance of long term social, amenity and heritage values. The utilisation of a set of mechanisms available in comparable jurisdictions could avert these consequences by creating medium term mitigation opportunities for a rural demographic affected by concentration in markets and protection by competitor nations.

FRANCINE ROCHFORD

Page Number - 261