The Future of Kangaroo Island

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					The Future of Kangaroo Island

Final Results of the 2004 Kangaroo Island Resident Survey
January 5, 2005

Compiled by Dr. Greg Brown and Ms. Susan Hale
University of South Australia


Beginning in July 2004, a Kangaroo Island resident survey was administered by Dr.
Greg Brown and Ms. Susan Hale at the University of South Australia (UniSA). The
study was conducted as an independent, university research project funded by the
Sustainable Environments Research Group at UniSA. The purpose of the survey was
to learn what KI residents value about the Island and to measure attitudes toward
various types of future growth and development, with special attention to tourism and
residential development. One thousand (1000) KI households were randomly
selected from voter registration rolls for participation in the study. A total of 431
usable responses were received for an overall response rate of 47% after adjusting for
non-delive rable surveys. About 91% of those completing the survey also completed
spatial mapping questions asking residents to identify specific place values on KI.

The survey contained questions in seven sections: 1) general familiarity with places
on KI , 2) measures of resident experiences and preferred lifestyles including quality
of life, 3) attitudes and opinions about growth and development on KI, 4) attitudes
toward specific future development options (e.g., marinas, restaurants, wind farms), 5)
identification of places on KI with specific values (e.g., scenic, recreation, biological,
etc.) or that represent “special places”, 6) identification of places where tourism and
residential development would be conditionally acceptable, and places where no
development should occur, and 7) respondents characteristics (for example, in terms
of length of residence, formal education, gender, and occupation).

The following are some key findings from the survey.

Key Findings

1. Quality of life on KI. Overall, KI residents enjoy a high quality of life. They
   perceive their lives to be peaceful, safe, and healthy. They experience relatively
   little traffic, uncrowded parks and beaches, and have positive interactions with
   visitors. Residents experience more sense of community than social isolation.
   The standard of living on KI is perceived to be slightly above average while
   property taxes (Council rates) are perceived to be high. Residents experience
   more road-kill animals on KI roads than they would prefer. Of the quality of life
   survey questions asked, the largest gaps between what residents currently
   experience and what they would prefer to experience are related to property taxes
   (too high), roadkill animals (too many), and standard of living (prefer higher).
   Consistent with these results, the most frequently cited threats to quality of life on
   KI were: 1) increases in property taxes, 2) quality of local government, 3) the lack
   of economic opportunities, and 4) increased number of visitors. The overall
   quality of life on KI is sufficiently high such that about 85% of KI residents would
   continue to live on the island even if they could live somewhere else with the
   same or better standard of living.

2. Attitudes toward future population growth and residential housing on KI.
   Resident population growth. The majority of respondents (57%) would prefer to
   see slow population growth (defined as 1%) in the next 5 years while 19 percent
   of respondents would prefer fast growth (defined as 5%). About 20 percent would
   prefer no cha nge in resident population. Location of new housing. To house an
   increasing population, residents were asked what percentage of new housing
   should be located inside townships versus in rural areas. Respondents said, on
   average, 71 percent new residential housing should be built in existing townships
   while 29 percent of new housing should be located in rural areas. The modal
   values (most common responses) were 80 percent in existing townships and 20
   percent in rural areas. Rate of rural residential development. The majority of
   respondents (58%) are content with the current rate of rural residential
   development while 22 percent would prefer an increased rate of development and
   13 percent believe the rural residential development rate is too fast. Residential
   development in coastal areas. Respondents are more concerned about rural
   residential housing located in coastal areas. About half of the respondents (51%)
   are content with the current rate of residential development in coastal areas but a
   significant minority (36%) believe the rate of residential development in coastal
   areas is too high. Residential development in Vivonne Bay and West End. A
   majority of respondents (55%) support a small number of new rural residences in
   Vivonne Bay but respondents are more divided on the issue of residential
   development on the island’s west end with 36 percent opposing any new
   residential development and 38 supporting a small number of new rural
   residences. Rural residential block type. When rural residences are to be built,
   respondents would prefer to have houses dispersed (55%) rather than clustered

3. Attitudes toward future growth in visitors and tourism potential. Visitor
   growth. About half of respondents (48%) would prefer to see slow growth in
   visitor numbers (defined as 1% growth) in the next 5 years while 28 percent
   would prefer no change (steady state) in visitor numbers. About 15 percent would
   prefer fast growth (defined as 5% growth) while about 6 percent would prefer a
   decline in visitor numbers. Economic future. When asked what type of
   development is most likely to contribute to the island’s future economic prosperity
   and community well-being, 51 percent indicated tourism, 17 percent indicated
   agriculture, 11 percent indicated residential development, 8 percent indicated
   retail/commercial, and 6 percent indicated industrial development. Impact of
   tourism on desirability of living on KI. About 46 percent of respondents indicated
   tourism hasn’t changed the desirability of living on KI, while about 36% indicated
   tourism has made KI more desirable and 18 percent less desirable. Intrinsic
   quality of KI for tourism. A large majority of respondents (78%) believe that KI
   has the qualities to become a world leader in providing environmental- friendly,
   nature-based tourism opportunities while about 13 percent believe KI lacks the

4. Location of tourism development. Future location of tourism accommodation.
   Respondents were presented with a list of different types of tourism
   accommodation and asked whether these were appropriate within towns, outside
   of towns, or neither. Caravan parks are most favoured within towns, followed by
   apartments and luxury hotels. Farm stays are most favoured outside towns,
   followed by B&Bs and managed campsites. The types of accommodation most
   frequently cited as undesirable anywhere are luxury hotels and resorts. Tourism
   development in coastal areas. When asked about developing visitor
   accommodation “in a limited number of coastal strategic locations provided they
   are attractively situated, small to medium scale, and achieve excellence in
   environmental design and management”, about 62 percent of respondents believe
   this is a good idea while 33 percent believe it is a bad idea. Given the highly
   favourable wording of this question toward coastal development, it is significant
   that one-third of residents still oppose any future tourism development in the
   coastal zones. Any tourism development in the coastal zone, even if supported by
   the majority of KI residents, will likely meet significant opposition.

5. Future development options for KI. Eighty-three (83) percent of respondents
   are either moderately or strongly interested in future KI development issues.
   Respondents were presented with a list of potential development options and were
   asked to indicate whether they would favour or oppose that type of development.
   The 5 most favourable future development options were: 1) Local produce outlets
   (90% favourable), 2) Wind farms (84% favourable), 3) restaurants—not fast-food
   (81%), 4) Caravan parks/campgrounds (80%), and 5) Ferry service to Kingscote
   (73%). The future development options that residents most oppose were:
   1) Large-scale residential subdivisions (36% opposed), 2) Fast- food outlets
   (35%), 3) Forestry operations (34%), 4) industrial/manufacturing facilities (32%),
   5) coastal aquaculture (31%), and 6) fun/adventure parks (31%).

6. Confidence in KI development process. Two questions were asked about the
   level of confidence residents have in the development review process (KI Council
   has final decision authority) and the KI Development Plan. About 52% of
   respondents expressed low or very low confidence with the development review
   process to approve development projects in the island’s best interest while 28
   percent of respondents expressed moderate confidence in the review process.
   Only 5 percent expressed high or very high confidence in the development review
   process. KI residents were slightly more confident in the KI Development Plan to
   guide future tourism development with 37 percent of respondents expressing low
   or very low confidence in the plan and 37 percent indicating moderate confidence
   in the plan. A relatively high percentage of respondents (22%) did not consider
   themselves familiar eno ugh with the plan to offer an opinion.

7. Respondent characteristics and community-level analysis. The views
   expressed in this survey appear authoritative and credible based on the significant
   collective experience and knowledge of the respondents. The majority of survey
   respondents indicated good (60%) or excellent (17%) knowledge of places on KI
   and have lived on KI for an average of 25 years (median value=20 years).
   Demographically, the KI survey respondents were older, contained a slightly

   higher percentage of male respondents (53%), and have completed a higher level
   of formal education (24% with tertiary or postgraduate degree) than would be
   expected based on comparable ABS statistics. There were some significant
   differences in survey responses when analysed by community. For example,
   Stokes Bay, Emu Bay, and Penneshaw residents, in general, are more supportive
   of tourism growth and development than other communities. The results indicate
   that KI residents are not unanimous in their opinions about future growth and
   development and that individual community perspectives should be considered in
   future development decisions.

Mapping Results

        Participants were asked to map the locations of landscape values, special
places, areas on KI where residential and tourism development would be conditionally
acceptable, and areas where development should not occur. This data is best
presented as a series of maps. Maps and future updates to the maps will be placed on
the KI Survey website listed below. These are some general conclusions from the
spatial data:

       1)         The strongest preference for future residential deve lopment is to
                  locate development within existing townships.
       2)         The strongest preference for future tourism development is to locate
                  development within with existing townships. Vivonne Bay,
                  Parndana, Stokes Bay, Kingscote, Emu Bay, American River and
                  Penneshaw ha ve the highest number of mapped tourism
                  development preferences.
       3)         The majority of “no development” areas are located in the coastal
                  zones of KI around the entire Island.
       4)         There are numerous areas of potential land use conflict, defined as
                  areas identified by residents as suitable both for “development ” and
                  “no development”. The overlay map of development and no
                  development preferences provides an important visual guide to
                  resident preferences. For example, Stokes Bay is one coastal area
                  outside the major KI communities where tourism development
                  values slightly exceed no development preferences. In Kingscote,
                  Vivonne Bay, and Emu Bay, tourism development may be
                  somewhat preferred over “no development” while in Snelling
                  Beach and Western River Cove, “no development” is preferred over
                  tourism development. Seal Bay, Pelican Lagoon and Cape du
                  Couedic were identified as areas where residents would clearly
                  prefer “no development ”. Parndana and Penneshaw were identified
                  as acceptable places for tourism development with little apparent

The latest survey results and maps can be found at the following website:

Click the link “View the 2004 Kangaroo Island Survey Results” then “Research”
and finally “Australia (Kangaroo Island) ”

I’d appreciate your thoughts and comments. Greg (


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