BENEFITS OF THE BOOM?

Effective local strategies are the key to regions capturing long term benefits from the
resource boom.

KEY POINTS

Jobs and wealth derived from resources projects flow mainly to connected
capital cities and larger regional centres rather than to small towns close to
the project. The long-term socio-economic benefits of resource projects for
smaller regional communities are not assured simply by the presence of a
project.

Maximising the net socio-economic benefits of resources projects for regional
communities should be a clear goal of resource development.

Capturing a share of indirect and induced economic activity will determine
whether a community experiences net benefits from a project.

Communities that do not have an effective strategy for managing these issues
may experience negative outcomes. The consternation over FIFO work
patterns is reflective of the wider challenges in the current resources
development systems in Australia.

Governments should consider whether the Environmental Impact Assessment
framework provides an appropriate umbrella for socio-economic issues in the
future. Its emphasis on external expert driven impact assessment and
compliance focussed regimes is at odds with the locally negotiated outcomes
and strategies needed to achieve net socio-economic benefits for local
communities.

Policy Implications
The approach for involving local communities in the resources development process needs considered review. An effective
project should be profitable for the resources company, provide jobs and wealth for the nation and create opportunity for
sustainable local development.

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