Keynote Presenter Professor Y. Jay Guo

Professor Y. Jay Guo, Research Director, Smart and Secure Infrastructure, Digital Productivity and Services National Flagship, CSIRO will present his keynote address on Connecting Regional Australia with Cost Effective Wireless Networks at the Australian Regional Development Conference

Jay Guo

Prof Y. Jay Guo is the Research Director of the Smart and Secure Infrastructure Portfolio (Theme) in the Digital Productivity and Services National Flagship, being responsible for digital infrastructure, broadband enabled applications and services, cyber security and sensor informatics. He has over twenty years of international experience in industry, academia and CSIRO across three continents.

Prior to joining CSIRO, he worked for eight years in the European wireless industry serving as senior managers of advanced technology development and strategy planning in Fujitsu, Siemens and NEC.

Jay is an internationally established scientist with over 260 publications and expertise in antennas and wireless communications systems, and an innovator with strong industrial impact.

He is the recipient of Australia Government Engineering Innovation Award (2012), Australia Engineering Excellence Award (2007) and CSIRO Chairman’s Medal (2007 & 2012).

He is Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and a Fellow of IET. He has served as Guest Editor and Chair for numerous top tier international journals and conferences.

Find out more about the Australian Regional Development Conference
Ph: (61 7) 5502 2068  Fax: (61 7) 5527 3298
E: [email protected]

Adjunct Professor Tony Sorensen, University of New England

Adjunct Professor Tony Sorensen will be presenting on Promoting Local Innovation: entrepreneurship, ideas, funding and mutual support at the Australian Regional Development Conference in Albury NSW on the 15 – 16 October 2014.

Tony Sorensen

Adjunct Professor Tony Sorensen, School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences, University of New England

Tony Sorensen is Adjunct Professor in Geography and Planning at the University of New England and has researched economic and social conditions and development processes across regional Australia over many years.

He is a Fellow of both the Institute of Australian Geographers and the Regional Australia Institute and also a member of the steering committee of the IGU’s Commission on Local and Regional Development.

Sorensen is also a past president of the ANZ Regional Science Association and co-edits the Australasian Journal of Regional Studies.

He has advised several Australian governments and parliaments on aspects of regional development strategy. In recent years, Sorensen has held numerous grants concerned with rural economies from the ARC,

Cooperative Research Centres and Rural Industries Research and Development Corporations. As an ardent futurist he is well aware of the need to up the tempo of change and adjustment in rural Australia, the subject of a forthcoming briefing paper from the Regional Australia Institute.

As a frequent visitor to Silicon Valley he continually muses about how that region’s entrepreneurial culture might be adapted to Australia’s sparsely settled ruralities.

Families in regional, rural and remote Australia

Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world, with over two-thirds (69%) of the population living in major cities.

It also has one of the lowest population densities outside of its major cities.

Community Development in Remote Australia

One way of categorising regions is in terms of the road distance from services, and helps define remoteness for statistical purposes in Australia.

Despite the vastness of Australia and the profound impact that this has on the lives of the peoples living in rural and remote areas, relatively little is known about families living in these areas of Australia compared to those living in major cities.

Australian Regional Development Conference, will address families and community development issues. The Australian Regional Development Conference will be held on 15-16 October  2014 in Albury. For more information please visit the conference website

Burdekin graziers beef’s best

INGA STUNZNER 09 Jun, 2014 04:00 AM

Barry and Leanne O'Sullivan took out a top sustainability award after transforming their property, Glenalpine Station.
We commenced fencing by soil types to change the grazing pattern of the cattle…
Barry and Leanne O’Sullivan took out a top sustainability award after transforming their property, Glenalpine Station.

BURDEKIN graziers Barry and Leanne O’Sullivan won the rural section at the Premier’s Sustainability Awards on Friday, May 31, for their leadership and innovation in the beef industry and commitment to the grazing best management practice (BMP) program.

The award, sponsored by Australian Country Choice and Coles, recognises the achievements of Queensland producers who have developed a sustainable agricultural business while demonstrating improved environmental and on-farm performance.

Mr O’Sullivan said the award was a fantastic result for the grazing industry, and demonstrated that anyone could turn any property around to become more profitable and sustainable by accessing the right information and support, which was freely available to Queensland producers.

“We are very excited about where BMP will take the grazing industry and we have learnt so much by

being involved in the process,” Mrs O’Sullivan said.

The O’Sullivans purchased their 23,385-hectare property, Glenalpine Station south-west of Bowen, in 2003 and had since transformed the poorer parts of the property into productive and profitable areas in an affordable, considered and informed process.

“When we came to this property the cattle were grazing on the lower creek flats, resulting in low ground cover at the end of the dry season and soil being lost with the first rains,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“We commenced fencing by soil types to change the grazing pattern of the cattle and to rest the poorer condition country.”

As more soil types were fenced and water points installed, the O’Sullivans commenced rotational grazing and they were then able to utilise previously unused land, including ridges.

“Commercially this has reduced supplementation costs, enabled higher calving percentages and heaver weight gains in the cattle.”

The fencing and spelling process has also seen the cattle maintain a higher weight, while more than 80 per cent of ground cover was still kept at the end of the dry season.

Read More

Sustainable practices will be key themes of the Australia Regional Development Conference and Awards are being held in October in Albury.

Rural Shifts in Population – meet the population experts

Vacant dwellings in rural areas, posted by April 1, 2014 in the Id Blog

It might surprise some people that about one in ten dwellings in Australia are vacant on Census night.

What’s more, …

there are distinct spatial patterns to vacant dwellings, with the highest proportions generally recorded in coastal areas with high amenity.

The reasons for this are well documented and are generally due to holiday or second home ownership.  However, there are inland parts of Australia where the proportion of vacant dwellings is quite high, and in some parts, increasing over time.  Some of these are in locations that are not considered high amenity, so what are the characteristics of these areas?  Let’s take a closer look.


What region has the highest proportion of vacant dwellings?

Rural areas, regardless of whether they are on the coast or inland, tend to have higher vacancy rates than metropolitan areas and large regional centres. Similar to coastal regions, many are located in areas of high amenity and hence are attractive locations for holiday or second homes. The table below shows the inland areas with the highest proportion of vacant dwellings across Australia. Note that inland areas are defined as those which do not share a boundary with the coast, and that the table excludes SA2s with less than 200 dwellings.

At the SA2 level, Central Highlands in Tasmania has the highest proportion of vacant dwellings in Australia – 64.2% in 2011. This roughly equates to the Central Highlands Council covering central Tasmania – a sparsely settled area with small towns. Apparently there are a number of fishing shacks around the lakes, which at Census time during the week in the middle of winter are unlikely to be occupied.

SA2 State Proportion (%)
Central Highlands TAS 64.2
Mansfield VIC 45.0
Mannum SA 41.3
Western SA 37.7
Cooma Region NSW 33.4
Mukinbudin WA 33.1
Bright – Mount Beauty VIC 31.9
Alexandra VIC 31.4
APY Lands SA 30.8
Tanami NT 30.2

Source:  ABS, Census of Population and Housing (2011) – unpublished data

Interestingly, there are SA2s in this list that are located in snowfield regions – an area were you expect any vacant dwellings to be occupied on Census night. In Mansfield, almost half of dwellings were unoccupied – surprising given that Mount Buller and its ski fields are located in this area. Other ski field locations with a high proportion of vacant dwellings on Census night include Cooma Region in NSW (33.4%) and Bright – Mount Beauty (31.9%). While the ski fields have their peak season in August, it may be affected by the quality of the snow season – 2011 was not a good season for the ski fields and this would have had an impact on vacancy rates. In addition, because of the high amenity of these areas there are a growing number of holiday/second homes.

There are also some very remote areas with high Indigenous populations in this list, namely APY Lands in the north west corner of South Australia and Tanami in the western part of the Northern Territory. The higher proportion of vacant dwellings may relate to the high rate of personal mobility amongst the Indigenous population but there may also be a number of abandoned houses due to the remoteness factor.

Id Group will be presenting and sponsoring the Australian Regional Development Conference