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Beyond Periphery: rethinking northern development with the ‘8 ds’

Beyond Periphery: rethinking northern development with the ‘8 ds’

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Beyond Periphery: rethinking northern development with the ‘8 ds’

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  1. Beyond Periphery: rethinking northern development with the ‘8 ds’ Dean Carson Professor of Rural and Remote Research Flinders University Rural Clincal School | Poche Centre for Indigenous Health | The Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University 18 June 2014

  2. A broad north Darwin Broome Cairns Mt Isa Alice Springs

  3. An interesting northern decade • Drought and manufacturing decline in the south • Mining boom in the north • Mining decline and drought in the north 2012 ->

  4. The agenda • Keeping the north profitable (for the south) • Accessing northern water • Justifying northern investment 2000-2010 • ‘Closing the Gap’ in Indigenous development

  5. It will work because… The north has abundant natural resources Proximity to Asia It’s very pretty Land – lots of land – heaps of land

  6. It has worked in the past? The mining boom created lots of jobs – in the south The tourism boom created large profits – for external companies Northern agriculture has periods of success – sometimes Indigenous communities attract lots of money – for small results There is lots of money for northern research – if you are a southern researcher

  7. The strategies won’t change • Poach – natural, non-renewable resources • Populate – forced migration if necessary • Proximity – not really • Punish – non-compliance • Projects – big ones

  8. Similar to other norths? Canada – Harold Innes, 1930s, Robert Weeden, 1980s Sweden - “Siljan Symposium” 1960 • Expansion and Retreat of Rural Settlement (Enequist, Norling, Bylund)

  9. What’s the problem? • The north has been useful for the south – often • But northern people have not benefited as they could have • How do we better enable northern people to participate in the processes of northern development? • Understand the Differences • Disconnected • Discontiguous • Diverse • Dynamic • Distant • Dependent • Detailed • Delicate

  10. Disconnected Carson, D. (2011). Skilled labour migration flows to Australia’s Northern Territory 2001-2006: beyond periphery? Australian Journal of Labour Economics, 14(1), 15-33. Sparsely populated areas are only poorly incorporated into core-periphery systems This can be illustrated by, for example, patterns of labour migration which are very structured in rural areas, and chaotic in remote ones

  11. Discontiguous

  12. Diverse and Dynamic

  13. Distant Carson, D., & Cleary, J. (2010). Virtual Realities: How Remote Dwelling Populations Become More Remote Over Time despite Technological Improvements. Sustainability, 2(5), 1282-1296. Sparsely populated areas become more isolated from human activity systems over time as new technologies require greater ‘economies of scale’ to implement. For example, transport and communication systems used to need to traverse sparsely populated areas to connect urban centres. This is no longer the case

  14. Dependent Carson, D. (2011). Political economy, demography and development in Australia's Northern Territory. Canadian Geographer, 55(2), 226-242. Increased surveillance by government is one example of dependence of remote areas on the decisions made by outsiders. Remote areas are also often seen as places to be exploited by large multi-national companies (eg. Mining companies) and as attractive ‘laboratories’ for social experiments by academics, NGOs and policy makers. Extreme climates also minimise the capacity for local decision making

  15. Detailed Martel, C., & Carson, D. (in press). Changing patterns of migration to Australia's Northern Territory: Evidence of new forms of escalator migration to frontier regions? Migration Letters. Changes can happen so rapidly because small influences have large impacts For example, the ‘trend’ of older workers migrating to remote areas in northern Australia for short term, ‘end of career’ contract work emerged from adoption of this strategy by just a few dozen people

  16. Delicate Taylor, A., & Carson, D. (2009). Indigenous mobility and the Northern Territory Emergency Response. People and Place, 17(1), 29-38. Sparsely populated areas attract disproportionate levels of (usually government) surveillance of their human activity systems As a result, remote dwelling communities can try and conceal weaknesses in the systems to prevent further intervention from outside agents. The value of interventions can also be exaggerated to justify increased government intervention.

  17. 8 Ds – so what? Disconnected Discontiguous Diverse Dynamic Distant Dependent Detailed Delicate

  18. Different types of network structures may be useful? L-S sets Bow-ties Onion Rings Cliques… Sydney Port Lincoln Adelaide

  19. Which version is Sweden?

  20. Controlling the technology? • Increase number of connections, not just strength of connection to the core; • Technology to supplement, not replace; • Design applications in the north

  21. Teams not clusters? • Clusters require proximity • Teams can be distributed • Teams can form and reform (they have an ‘off season’) • Teams use diverse skills • Some success in tourism to connect distant attractions

  22. dean.carson@flinders.edu.au