body bg


Regional development, redistribution and the extraction of mineral resources: The Western Australian Goldfields as a resource bank

  • Year: 2013
  • Author: Matthew Tonts, Kirsten Martinus, Paul Plummer
  • Journal Name: Applied Geography
  • Journal Number: Vol. 45
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Western Australia

The first decade of the twenty-first century was one of the most prosperous in Australia's history. The boom was led by a buoyant minerals and energy resource sector, contributing to high levels of economic growth, rising real wages and low unemployment. Yet, as with the nation's previous resources booms, there were marginal transformations in the economies of those regions from which the minerals were extracted. Overwhelmingly, the wealth generated by the resource boom has concentrated in the cities. Moreover, public expenditure in resource regions also remains comparatively low, and indeed tend to reproduce a development framework oriented towards extraction rather than diversification. This paper employs elements of Innis' staples thesis to help explain this pattern of regional development, and in particular the relatively low levels of reinvestment in resource peripheries. Drawing on the notion of a 'resource bank', we contend that resource regions are often viewed as a reserve of latent wealth that can be drawn upon for the benefit of the urban 'core'. Yet, we also highlight emerging strategies aimed at overcoming this and that seek to return a greater proportion of wealth to those regions from which it was extracted.

Related Items

Distributional and consumptive water demand impacts of different types of economic growth in two northern Australian river catchments

Using an extensive array of primary and secondary data, this paper constructs, and then uses...

A Multi-Dimensional Perspective on Social Capital and Economic Development: An Exploratory Analysis

While various types of capital have been identified and studied as drivers of economic...

Assessing a Region's Economic Level Using the Regional Economic Development Risk Indicator

Assessing the differences between regions within a single country is important not only from the...

Share this with your friends

Footer Logo

Contact Us

Level 2, 53 Blackall Street
Barton ACT 2600
Telephone: 02 6260 3733
or email us