Resource-dependent rural communities

Introduction to the assignment I am currently working on.  Just for you, @raark:

1    Introduction

Australian rural communities that are economically dependent upon a single primary industry can be particularly affected by systemic change in industry viability over time (Marshall, Fenton, Marshall, & Sutton, 2007).  The challenges faced by such communities are only increased by factors such as government policy to reduce local services and policies relating to rural industries (Hyde, 1998) and the narrow and shrinking skill base of the local work force (Humphrey, 1994). 

The resource-dependence of rural communities is detrimental to the long-term economic sustainability of those communities (Buttel & Newby, 1980; Gramling & Freudenburg, 1990).  In this context, Kranich and Luloff (1991) identify several obstacles to the success of rural development programs that seek to increase the robustness of these rural communities by reducing the community’s dependence upon a single industry. 

This paper seeks to further explore these obstacles on the basis of analysis of a subset of twenty-one interview transcripts generated for prior studies (Herbert-Cheshire, 2000, 2003).  These interviews were carried out with key residents of the rural community of Monto in regional Queensland, which at the time of the interview process was heavily dependent upon the dairy industry (Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource and Economics, 2001).  The purpose of this paper is to further consider this evidence in order to examine the manner in which Monto’s historic reliance on dairy farming and other forms of agricultural production has shaped the response of the local residents to the deregulation of the dairy industry, and furthermore to consider the potential of this response to enhance Monto’s viability and economic sustainability. 

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