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The Socio-Economic Impact of Long Distance Commuting (LDC) on Source Communities

  • Year: 2013
  • Author: Aileen Hoath and Fiona Haslam McKenzie
  • Publisher: Co-operative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation and Curtin Graduate School of Business
  • Published Location: Perth Western Australia
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Western Australia

This research project examines the socio-economic implications of long distant commute (LDC) workforce arrangements in the resources sector for two ‘source’ or ‘resident’ localities, (rather than on the host communities where mines operate), and communities in regional Australia. They are distant from mining operations, but now home to significant or growing LDC population cohorts. Focusing on these two Western Australian case study sites, Mandurah in the Peel region, and Busselton in the South West region, the project has employed a multi method, iterative approach to identify and document the size and distribution of the LDC cohort in each case study area, and the associated diverse but interrelated effects and issues. Between late 2012 and early 2013 the researchers conducted, desktop research, and analysis of existing publically available data sets, semi-structured interviews and focus groups with service providers and LDC participants, and an on-line survey again targeting LDC workers and spouse. To generate a broad understanding of the socio-economic costs and benefits, and associated infra-structure implications, for local governments, LDC participants, their families, and the wider community, it has examined a variety of perspectives: worker mobility, occupations, family structures, socio-economic status, expenditure and investment patterns, levels of education, training and work history; the entrenched and emerging needs in resident communities; and the linkages, distances and gaps between corporate mining operations, government and non service agencies and resident localities and communities.

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