Fuelling regional development or exporting value? The role of the gas industry on the Limestone Coast, South Australia

Thomas G. Measham, Lavinia Poruschi, Raymundo Marcos-Martinez
2020 The Extractive Industries and Society  
The degree to which host regions benefit from resource extraction is a major issue for research and policy. In Australia and Canada, the dominant narrative of resource extraction is that most of the benefits flow away from host regions. This paper draws on evolutionary economic geography, presenting a case study of the Limestone Coast in South Australia, which previously extracted and distributed gas locally to food and fibre manufacturing industries. New policies seeking to renew the gas
more » ... ry in the region, provide subsidies for exploration. Scenarios were developed to help inform decisions about the role of gas within this region. Qualitative analysis of the scenarios emphasised that gas needs to be affordable and locally accessible. Quantitative modelling showed that using the gas locally by manufacturing industries as part of broader industrial expansion would lead to greater benefits compared with exporting all gas outside the region. We conclude that policy settings have gone some way towards realising increased benefits for the region. Regional stakeholders clearly favoured the local use scenario but saw it as unlikely in the context of current infrastructure limitations. Stakeholders sought policy support for infrastructure to enable the preferred scenario to be realised.
doi:10.1016/j.exis.2020.04.001 pmid:32363147 pmcid:PMC7194547 fatcat:gbi5searbbfbbacpiwqz6rg6wy