Metropolitan and non-metropolitan regions grow through many and complex ways: some prosper as a result of national economic change; others ride the wave of expansion in tourism and recreation activities; resource development is the key for others; while a fourth group deliberately map out their own future and find new and innovative ways to develop.
This issue of Sustaining Regions reflects the diverse pathways and challenges confronting regions. Fiona Haslam McKenzie reports on the outcomes of her evaluation of the economic and social impacts of a very specialised form of tourism - heritage tourism associated with the monks living in New Norcia in Western Australia. Her paper nicely illustrates how communities can turn their distinctive histories and attributes into a prosperous future. Tourism at New Norcia in many ways is a case study of good practice in tourism for non-metropolitan regions, with a strong emphasis on their unique identity, the identification of key markets, a reliance upon wordof-mouth advertising and ensuring a healthy level of repeat business. Jenny Diggle, Robert Brooks and Mark Stewart provide a different perspective on regional issues. Their paper offers a solution to one of the most intractable problems in regional development: gaining access to funding for infrastructure. The authors canvas a range of strategies for developing a bond market for regional infrastructure. Derek deVrize of the Bendigo Bank also addresses an issue of practical significance. His paper reports on an approach to community development being developed and applied by the Bendigo Bank. The Bank is increasingly an important institution at the local scale in Australia - both in the capital cities and in non-metropolitan regions - as it offers financial services, sponsors alternative carriers of telecommunication services and provides investment opportunities not offered by the larger financial institutions. Ifor Ffowcs-Williams provides insights into clustering. His article draws upon his extensive consulting and practical experience in this field and reinforces the New Zealand perspective on regional development embedded within the previous issue of Sustaining Regions. Claire Conroy and David Bartie from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provide an interesting perspective on the demand for, and provision of, statistics on Australia’s regions. Their paper reports on the outcomes of the ABS’s consultation on the use of regional statistics and further develops the comments in the editorial of Winter 2004 where my colleagues and I discussed our observations on patterns within regional research in Australia (Beer, Tuatty and Cutler 2004).
In conclusion, I trust that your summer break is enjoyable and I encourage you to consider attending the forthcoming Australian and New Zealand Regional Science Association Conference in New Zealand. This conference is scheduled for September 2005 and promises to be an enjoyable experience in a beautiful part of the world.
Tourism Opportunities and Dilemmas for a Rural Tourism Destination
Regional Research in Australia: the Statistical Dimension
Cluster Development: Red Lights & Green Lights
The Role of a Community Business Network in Building Stronger Communities
Credit Wrapping and Local Infrastructure Investment
Building Positive Rural Futures Study Tour