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Place-based rural and regional development is an important and key strategy for building and sustaining regional communities in Australia.
The key foundational principle of contemporary regional development in Australia is ‘partnerships, collaboration and cooperation’ between the government, the private sector and communities. The involvement of a range of stakeholders in regional development processes means there is greater potential for community ‘ownership’ of infrastructure, growth and innovation projects, and of the pooling of resources to reach mutually beneficial outcomes.
Place-value economic development is a form of place-based development that places a particular community and the self-identified potential of that community and place (area) at the centre. Place-value economic development results in cooperation-focused regional economic development strategies built around the unique value and potential of a place.
This Research Paper uses the concept of ‘place-value economic development’ to illustrate the potential of a community-led, and government-supported, remote area economic development strategy that is conceptualised around the historical and inherent agricultural value of the sheep and wool industry in Central West Queensland. This place-value-focused strategy – ‘Bring back the sheep’ – relies on the participation of a range of stakeholders. In return, an even broader range of stakeholders stand to benefit.