Assessing the trade-offs of increased mining activity in the Surat Basin, Queensland: Preferences of Brisbane residents using nonmarket valuation techniques
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Jill WindleJill Windle, John RolfeJohn Rolfe
The mining boom in Australia since 2003 has produced significant economic benefits for regional, State and National economies, creating new job opportunities and revenue flows. Despite the contribution of the resources sector to economic growth, questions are frequently raised about the concomitant negative social, economic and environmental impacts. The Surat Basin in southern Queensland is a traditional agricultural region with a small but growing coal mining sector and a rapidly developing liquefied natural gas industry (mainly associated with extracting coal seam gas). In this paper, the preferences of residents in Brisbane, the State capital, are explored in relation to the relative importance of social, economic and environmental impacts of the resource boom in the Surat Basin. A choice modelling experiment was conducted to assess the tradeoffs Brisbane residents would make (in monetary terms) between the economic benefits and the associated costs of increased mining activity on local communities. The results identify the strength of concerns about community and environmental impacts, and can potentially be used to help evaluate the net benefits of resource development.