Dr Francine Rochford to present on rural depopulation and Australian policy

Dr Francine Rochford from La Trobe University will present at the Australian Regional Development Conference will be held at the Commercial Club Albury on the 26– 27 August 2015.

Dr Francine Rochford

Dr Francine Rochford

Speaker Introduction: Dr Francine Rochford is a Senior Lecturer in the Law School at La Trobe University in Victoria, Australia. She has written extensively on the issue of water law and policy, particularly in relation to reforms to water policy. Her recent interests in water law include the constitutional framework within which water management occurs, the historical development of current water allocation principles, comparison of water law and policy, and the human right to water. Previous water related research has considered the tortious liability of water supply authorities for contaminated water, the environmental and social impacts of water policy reform, and constraints on adaptation to emerging water policy in regional communities.

Presentation Title: Amenity commons, multifunctionality and the abandoned landscape

Overview: This presentation will continue a longstanding narrative on the theme of rural depopulation, but will focus on two Australian policy settings: the user-pays framework which is driving the curtailment of water infrastructure in irrigation areas, and the treatment of positive externalities of agriculture in comparable jurisdictions. The research argues that these two policy settings will continue the population decline in rural areas in Australia, and will also result in unmanaged negative environmental outcomes. The creation of an agrarian underclass risks environmentally damaging consequences and risks the creation of alternative opportunities for land use, including potentially the maintenance of long term social, amenity and heritage values. The utilisation of a set of mechanisms available in comparable jurisdictions could avert these consequences by creating medium term mitigation opportunities for a rural demographic affected by concentration in markets and protection by competitor nations.

About the Conference

The Australian Regional Development Conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation.

Themed Redefining the Future of Regional Australia, the Conference will explore the issues and opportunities facing Regional Australia today and into the future.

To view and/or download the Conference program, please click here.  For information on registration or to book your delegate pass, visit the website here.

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