The questionable economic health of some resource-based communities in the 1980s and 1990s in Australia is a special variant of changes which are being felt in much of the rural sector. However, the problems which arise when a mining community is confronted by immediate or anticipated mine closure are much more traumatic than the prospect of a gradual rundown of local industry. They create a demand for a special, tailor-made approach to local economic development. Very little of the Australian literature on the problems of small rural communities emphasises this fact.
It is the purpose of this report to identify and review some of the establishment community development approaches to rural revitalisation. Their relevance to the situation in the Tasmanian west coast mining towns is then assessed. Natural economic resource endowment is of obvious importance in local economic development. This report, however, is mainly concerned with analysing the attitudes of local people as a resource relevant to different forms of the economic and development process, and with assessing the role of local government in acting as a catalyst for local economic development.
The objective of the report is to identify some of the prerequisites which should be in place before a fresh and long-term local response to the impacts of a declining mining industry can be put in place.
Neil, C.C., & Lea, J. P. (1991). Wind-down and closure: Local economic development and governance options in the mining towns of Western Tasmania (Working Paper). Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian Naitonal University: Canberra, Australia.