'Not a Local Win': Rural Australian perceptions of the sustainable impacts of forest plantations

Miller, Evonne & Buys, Laurie (2014) 'Not a Local Win': Rural Australian perceptions of the sustainable impacts of forest plantations. Rural Society, 23(2), pp. 161-174.

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Australian forestry plantations have doubled in the past 15 years, with rural communities harbouring a diverse range of positive and negative of economic, environmental and social impacts – the so-called triple bottom line (TBL). Utilising two Australian rural communities in Eden/Gippsland and Tasmania as qualitative case studies, this research explores how 23 non-forestry affiliated rural residents perceived and experienced the TBL economic, environmental and social impacts of plantation forestry. Residents criticised the economic plantation forestry benefits because of lengthy periods of inactivity and limited local employment, explaining that their community was reliant on the industry yet the promised economic benefits had never fully materialised. There was a sense the industry ‘plant and walk away.’ Residents were concerned about the environment impact on water quality, water tables and fire hazards, although they praised plantation forestry for carbon sequestering, eradicating erosion and water run-off.

Negative social impacts were described, specifically how the land-use change from farming to forestry had significantly reduced the local population, employment and need for services. Natural resource management and communication strategies are offered, derived from non-forestry affiliated rural resident perspectives on how best to ensure sustainable forest development in their community.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 74660
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: natural resource management, community engagement, sustainability , triple bottom line, plantation forestry
DOI: 10.5172/rsj.2014.23.2.161
ISSN: 1037-1656
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Natural Resource Management (050209)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500) > Regional Analysis and Development (120505)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 eContent Management
Deposited On: 05 Aug 2014 00:03
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2014 06:23

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