The potential development of an oil industry in the Great Australian Bight provides a number of opportunities and challenges. Potentially, the development may affect local communities, regional economies and the environment. Developing a baseline, before any development takes place, enables changes due to the development being better identified and understood. The aim of this study was to develop a comprehensive baseline for the social and economic environment of the region most likely to be impacted by the development of an oil industry in the Great Australian Bight. The baseline study identified that the region is characterised by a small and sparsely distributed population, highly dependent on primary industries for the most part. The study also identified that there is a strong attachment to place in the region, with the current pristine coastal and marine environment a key factor underlying this attachment.
Australian and New Zealand Regional Science Association 2018. Reproduced with permission