The objectives of this project are to:
- understand how desert settlements function, including factors that strengthen or weaken settlement vitality and resilience. The factors may be the singular and combined effect of their size, remoteness, resource and economic base, governance, latent capacities and social and technical characteristics
- generate knowledge to underpin the development of vital and viable settlements in desert Australia
- contribute to debates concerning appropriate kinds of governance and investment in Australia’s desert settlements including Aboriginal settlements and those characterised by mining, tourism, and pastoralism.
The key project outcomes will be:
- settlements with responsive governance that ensures the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of residents into the future
- governments with decision-support tools, new strategies, and best-practice models for supporting vital desert settlements.
CP 4 will also increase research capacity of desert people, especially Aboriginal people, universities, research institutes, and governments.
The deliverables for this project are:
- scenarios of feasible futures with whole-of-life consideration
- graphical and empirical data layers of settlement characteristics
- tools for settlement managers to diagnose settlement vitality
- knowledge to inform settlement/community plans and government policy, including implementation approaches. This knowledge may include: appropriate assets, access to services, reliable infrastructure, livelihood activity, formal and informal governance arrangements, access to markets that can add value to goods and services, environmental sustainability
- strategies that support vital and viable settlements under different conditions
- a template to assist settlements develop and monitor settlement plans.
The project will encompass remote settlements of differing size, remoteness, and social and cultural characteristics, and conduct comparative analyses of these. It will consider settlements from very remote and small to larger service centres such as Kalgoorlie and Alice Springs. These case studies will link with the case study areas for Core projects 5 and 6 of the Desert Knowledge CRC.