Settlement in remote regions has posed challenges for policy makers, the companies that operate in these areas and the people who make their homes there. Remoteness from services taken for granted in larger urban areas, high living costs, harsh environments, limited employment and education opportunities and difficulties in attracting private sector investment create barriers for urban development in remote regions. These barriers create a difficult environment for the long term sustainability of viable urban settlements. One response has been the rapid growth in FIFO employment in mining and other sectors.
In the longer term factors such as climate change, the end of the mining boom and other potential disruptions such as the slowing of growth in Asia will pose a new group of challenges. The response of the public sector to these issues will have an enormous influence on the attractiveness or otherwise of life in remote areas and how urban settlement patterns evolve to meet these challenges.
The symposium will consider these issues and explore how remote settlements in other countries have met these challenges. Case studies from Russia, Canada and Australia will examine issues such as making remote settlement economies work, entrepreneurship, FIFO vs residential populations, developing sustainable services in small towns and the challenge of climate change. Issues related to indigenous settlements and long run sustainability will also be examined.