Rolf_Gerritsen by zhangyun


									   A Problematic Future for Northern

A presentation to the June 2008 Bureau of Transport,
  Infrastructure and Regional Economics “Regional
              Perspectives” Conference.


 Rolf Gerritsen, Research Leader, Central Australia,
              Charles Darwin University
• Introduction

• I propose a paradox; Northern Australia will have
  relatively high economic growth rates over the coming
  decades but will be doing less well – in socio-economic
  as well as environmental terms – than desirable.

• (NB I will not deal with environmental challenges here,
  though they will be increasingly severe in the future)

• Why? Essentially poorly sustainable growth rather than
  economic and social development.

• Assuming present policy settings, Northern
  Australia will fall further behind settled Australia
  over the next decades. We will also see two
  Northern Australias – one comprising relatively
  wealthy expatriates and one comprising mostly
  permanently resident, impoverished, Aboriginal

• Why is the prognosis for northern and central
  Australia one of increasing difficulties?
 Several – interrelated (NB) - sets of demographic,
 social and economic reasons

1. Demographic changes

2. Settlement patterns

   •   Disabling urban growth

   •   Economic decline of inland service centres and
       mining towns

   •   Rise of Aboriginal settlements
3. Economy: a permanently marginalized
   economy unable to deal with endemic
     •   Industry sector stasis

     •   An encapsulated export sector

     •   An inefficient labour market

     •   Welfare dependence reducing the local “market”

     •   Poor bases of and structures for innovation
4. Socio-political incapacity
     •   Public sector inefficiency and incapacity

     •   Impoverishment and social problems on
         Aboriginal settlements (“urban drift” response?)

     •   Welfare dependence reducing the local “market”

     •   Lack of innovation
People designing future development scenarios need to
accurately analyse present trends in order to alter them
for more beneficial outcomes.

Need to:

    • Re-cast economic policy and the urban bias of
      public sector services and investment

    • Re-think Aboriginal policy

    • Prepare for climate change

To top