Authors: Neil Argent*, University of New England, Fiona Haslam-McKenzie, University of Western Australia, Greg Halseth, University of Northern British Columbia, Sean Markey, Simon Fraser University, Laura Ryser, University of Northern British Columbia
Topics: Rural Geography, Economic Geography
Keywords: royalties, regional development, staples dependence, Australia
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
In the context of a growing international and national demand for affordable, reliable energy sources that are also low in carbon emissions, new sites for coal seam gas extraction have emerged in rural and remote Australia. As elsewhere in the globe, these developments have helped spawn a highly contested landscape in which agriculture, energy extraction, Indigenous community interests and environmental protection/conservation are held in an uneasy and dynamic tension with each other. One key area of contention that to date has received relatively little attention is the redistribution of resource wealth from such endeavours to source regions, localities and Indigenous owners in order to support economic and socio-cultural development in otherwise staples-dependent spaces.
Drawing on insights from Innis’ staples theory and geographical political economy, and based on interviews with local government, Indigenous representatives, Surat Basin farmers, regional development agencies and community organisations and State Government agencies, this presentation investigates the development and operation of public and private redistributive mechanisms associated with the allocation of the benefits from coal seam gas exploration and extraction in the Surat Basin (Queensland). Ultimately, the paper assesses the capacity of the Queensland government’s redistribution instruments to help foster the conditions for the development of functionally complex and inclusive local and regional economies.