Working Papers

Sep
2019

Rural and regional work force policy: the Queensland scene

Rural economies policy research team have published a working paper on the rural and regional work force. This paper finds that workforce issues in rural Queensland pose a complex societal problem, with significant strategic policy and program implications. Four key policy focus areas for action emerge, including regional workforce and skills shortages; workforce education and training; disruption and new workforce models for transitioning economies; and policy and program coordination. Vibrant and prosperous regional communities rely on industries that can meet their workforce needs and citizens that can find and retain employment and remain in the regions. It is argued that “that all places can grow when policy making is attuned to spatial particularities” (Pugalis & Gray 2016:181). The challenge for policymakers is how to ensure that workforce needs are identified at the local level and those policy innovations in education and training, workforce supply and workforce planning can meet the needs of rural Queensland industries and communities.

Authors: Hurriyet Babacan, Allan Dale & Jennifer McHugh (JCU/The Cairns Institute)

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Aug
2019

Connectivity and inclusion in Far North Queensland's agricultural communities

Internet connectivity is essential for prosperity and development in all societies. This policy‐focussed report is the culmination of a qualitative study of digital connectivity and telecommunications in rural Far North Queensland (FNQ). In particular, the research investigated the lived experience of digital inclusion – a combination of internet access, affordability of technology, and digital ability ‐ in agricultural households and communities the northern Gulf region. The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) shows that North West Queensland (which takes in the Gulf Savannah) is one of Australia’s least digitally included regions.

The ADII further suggests that farmers and farm managers tend to score more poorly in the Index than others in comparable circumstances, particularly on the digital ability sub‐index. This research aimed to unpack how these quantitative insights ‘play out’ in the context of rural FNQ, thereby shedding light on the nuanced and context‐specific factors that impact digital participation of farming households and communities.

Report Authors: Dr Amber Marshall (JCU/QUT) | Prof Allan Dale (JCU)| Prof Hurriyet Babacan (JCU)|Michael Dezuanni (QUT)

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Jul
2019

Sowing the seeds: creating a regional innovation ecosystem in Goondiwindi

Innovation ecosystems add value to economic and community development in a region. Innovation hubs can play a critical role in these ecosystems by providing centralised access to networks, capital, technology, community and social support.

The Goondiwindi region is exploring implementation of a local innovation hub that will leverage the local strengths of the agricultural sector. This report follows a structured approach to assessing the feasibility of an innovation hub and developing an actionable business case and plan.

Project Researchers: Mr Chad Renando (USQ); Assoc. Professor Ben Lyons (USQ)

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Jun
2019

Rural economic issues: a background paper

This paper explores the influences, challenges, opportunities and approaches to rural economic development in Queensland. It focuses on economic development and diversification centred on agricultural food and fibre value chain development and related regional industries. The paper describes the current situation of Queensland’s rural economy and the factors that are influencing it. It outlines the characteristics of a vibrant rural economy and summarises current and emerging rural economic development issues, initiatives and policies. The paper has been developed to provide information that forms the basis for the development of research, practice and policy priorities for the Rural Economies Centre Queensland

Authors: 
Professor Allan Dale, The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Cairns; Professor John Rolfe, CQUniversity, Rockhampton; Professor John Cole & Professor Jim Cavaye, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba - 2018

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May
2019

Emerging rural and regional policy considerations for Queensland: an overview paper

Rural economic development is a complex process and the breadth of issues confronting policy makers, both contextual and conceptual, need consideration. This paper provides an initial exploratory analysis and overview of key issues in economic policy making of relevance to rural and regional areas, highlighting the key issues that have emerged from scholars and practitioners.  The purpose of the paper is to present the landscape of factors and issues relevant to policy making  and to enable effective conceptualization of rural/regional economic policy development within a larger contextual framework.  This exploratory paper will unpack key issues influencing rural/regional governance, policy formulation, adoption and implementation.

Authors: Professor Hurriyet Babacan, Professor Allan Dale, The Cairns Institute, James Cook University

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