<em><sup>BOOM BUST MINING TOWNS: towards addressing the strategic management problem of developing mining communities and their sustainability</sup></em> — ASN Events

BOOM BUST MINING TOWNS: towards addressing the strategic management problem of developing mining communities and their sustainability (14290)

Brent J McKenna 1
  1. Bond University, Varsity Lakes, QLD, Australia

This research will be a case study of 5 mining towns located in the Pilbara to assess the impact of major projects undertaken to increase the mining and extraction of resources (mostly iron ore and gas) and, at the same time, develop ongoing communities to service industry needs. An important set of long term issues (listed below) will be critically analysed with a view to better understanding what we mean by the sustainability of communities in remote regions, where people and families are settling in the expectation that they will become communities that will continue to exist in the future. Much of the information and data would be obtained from: discussions facilitated within focus groups involving people from several mining towns, records of stories from inhabitants and new settlers, a household survey targeted to people in and beyond the region that have one or more household members employed in the region. As well, key players connected to managing major projects in the resources industry will be consulted in an effort to develop an understanding of how decisions to proceed with major investments are made and how they connect with the policy context, implementation process and notional plans to develop sustainable communities. The study will identify the context by way of reports, demographic and industry statistics as well as project management plans for resource industry developments and will connect these details to a critical analysis of the systemic framework and theory on Boom Bust Cycles especially as it relates the contemporary “Super Resources Boom” and how major project investments impact on the goal of developing “sustainable communities” in remote areas during the process of mining and extracting non renewable resources.  The key issues being analysed are :  Why is the Boom Bust Cycle continuing to impact heavily on contemporary Australian mining communities?  What are the socio-economic, environmental and cultural impacts, problems and related issues in mining communities? What are governments and industry doing to strategically plan for sustainable mining communities? How could strategic management improve major investments impacting mining communities and sustainability? Can sustainable communities in mining regions exist after resources are mined out? The core problem of remote communities remains the same, namely that resource industry dependence can only last so long; then we may simply see “Ghost Towns and Cities” as the mining stops if we are incapable of generating the economic activity required to sustain towns and communities.