My study of sustainable development is an assessment focused on finding out about, and gauging the views of, Pilbara residents on projects designed to construct prosperous, settled, economically diverse places to become sustainable communities.
At present, centralised policy framing facilitates boom-bust cycles which have enabled the biggest resources boom in Australia’s history but the “jury is out” on whether government and industry sustainable development agendas have contributed towards community sustainability.
My main study concern is to identify the intended and unintended consequences, to residents, of sporadic volatile development linked to possibilities of better planning and implementation of projects, services and enhanced governance capabilities.
The focus is on the dynamics of central-peripheral relations in which central governments and the extractive industry decide on sustainable development projects arguing that change will lead to improvement in livelihoods, lifestyles and quality of life, so I’m also interviewing a select group of agenda setters.
My thesis will report evidence about sustainable development and ideas for mediating and harmonising contests to optimise strengths gained from development; to also minimise the weaknesses to sustaining frontier communities.
I look forward to receiving feedback over the next seven to eight months on questions such as: Why do you live in the Pilbara? What is your view on development taking place? Are you settled: long-term, here as a stepping stone, undecided about your future, involuntarily staying-put or other options?
Confidential answers and views can be emailed to brentjmckenna.murdoch.uni.wa @gmail.com. Brent J. McKenna, Karratha