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Capitals in non-capitals: Liveability in regional Australia
The characterisation of regional Australia is important for all levels of decision making. A critical part of this characterisation is understanding the performance of regional Australia, in particular those aspects which relate to liveability. This paper examines the liveability of three regional councils (Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac) in the State of Queensland, Australia. The liveability has been measured based on four different capitals: economic, environmental, social and human. Two-stage random sampling and telephone interview had been devised to collect information about these capitals from different population cohort within these regional councils. The study found that the liveability of these regional councils is better than the metropolitan region of the same state; and the condition of economic and environmental capitals is better than that of human and social capitals. Therefore, the priority areas to increase the liveability within these regions are to increase the human development services such as education, training and health facilities and to improve social cohesion and community empowerment. The findings from this study are replicable to other similar regions in Australia or internationally where the region has a mix of agriculture, mining and tourism activities with a low density population base.