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The Natural Resource Management Implications of Rural Property Turnover

Emily Mendham, National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training; Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University
Allan Curtis, National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training; Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University
Joanne Millar, Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University; School of Environmental Sciences, Charles Sturt University

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-05071-170405

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Abstract

One aspect of recent rural change is in-migration, which is challenging the traditional dominance of production values in some areas. We explored the natural resource management implications of property turnover in two Australian regions. Our mixed-methods approach combined analysis of property sales records and spatially referenced landholder survey data with data from key informant interviews. Close to 50% of rural properties are expected to change hands between 2006 and 2016, double the change in the previous decade. This change is linked to the transformation of these rural areas, including the influx of non-farming rural landholders seeking amenity values. Our research suggests that property turnover of this scale has important implications for natural resource management. Newer and longer term owners were very different in terms of their values, attitudes, knowledge, land use, and management practices. A substantial proportion of these new property owners are absentees, which further complicates natural resource management, and our view is that a “business as usual” approach to the engagement of the new cohort of rural land managers is unlikely to be effective.

Key words

amenity migration; Australia; property turnover; rural land use change
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087