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Budge_T_Return to nothing: Securing your new community in the Peri-Urban

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Beyond the Edge: Australia's First National Peri-Urban Conference
La Trobe University
Oct 2013

Published in: Technology, Real Estate
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Budge_T_Return to nothing: Securing your new community in the Peri-Urban

  1. 1. Return to Nothing Trevor Budge Associate Professor Community Planning and Development Program La Trobe University – Bendigo Campus
  2. 2. Themes • The transformation of peri urban landscapes has been very evident. • As has population growth in the towns in the peri urban. • BUT what has not been so evident are the social, community and cultural changes that have occurred in many towns in peri urban areas. • This presentation provides some observations and reflections.
  3. 3. ‘Return to Nothing’ • This phrase was used by the Australian academic Peter Read as the title of a book about people who return after many years to the places where they grew up and that no longer exist • This concept has resonance with the peri urban • It’s a concept that was also explored by a US Journalist Ron Powers in book ‘Far from Home – Life and Loss in Two American Towns’
  4. 4. Some Case Studies • Victoria • Towns in the peri urban arc 50 to 125 kms beyond Melbourne • Similar towns around each of the major metropolitan areas across Australia • Once ‘rural’ towns, their role was primarily to meet the immediate needs of a surrounding rural-agricultural population and businesses
  5. 5. Population Change 1991 - 2011 • • • • Bannockburn 823 – 3,517 Ballan 1,053 - 2,045 Wallan 2,166 – 7,881 Drouin 4,555 – 9,368 But population growth doesn’t necessarily tell the story of change • • • • • Avenel 546 (1996) - 814 Daylesford – Hepburn 3,347 - 3265 Creswick 2,387 – 2,568 Heathcote 1,507 – 1,688 Trentham 632 - 719
  6. 6. 10000 9000 8000 7000 6000 5000 1991 1996 4000 2001 2006 3000 2000 1000 0 2011
  7. 7. Some case study profiles • Daylesford – Hepburn – tourism, gourmet food, alternative and gay community • Creswick – commuter to Ballarat and convention centre • Heathcote – retirement and wine • Trentham – professional retirees
  8. 8. The Trentham story - then • Timber • Potatoes • Manufacture of farm pumps Rural service centre
  9. 9. The Trentham story – and now • • • • • Tourism The Red Beard Bakery The Cosmo Hotel The Trentham Market Professional Retirees
  10. 10. The changing profile - Ballan • The Arnell & Jackson Victorian Municipal Directory 1968 entry for Ballan • Agricultural township with pastoral district, on Werribee river, with post, telegraph and money-order office, telephone bureau, savings bank, twenty insurance agencies, two branches of banks, clothing factory, panel beating works, three churches, State school, mechanics’ institute and free library (3,000 vols), shire hall, courthouse, racecourse, cricket and recreation reserve, swimming pool, cemetery, newspaper, three hotels; electric light. Bowling, cricket, tennis, golf, football and jockey clubs • The contrasting story of a pizza shop
  11. 11. The changing profile • What is the ideal size of the town? • Depends on what you want – Bannockburn • Who is the biggest employer? • Depends on who moves there – Heathcote • What happened to the bank? • Depends on who moved there - Trentham
  12. 12. Trentham - the story of a sign
  13. 13. What have we uncovered? • Each town in the peri urban has its own story to tell • Superficial analysis using statistics will not tell the story or uncover what has happened • Population growth alone does not tell the story • Each community needs to be understood and its own narrative needs to unfold through community engagement and research • The peri urban is a geographical area but the towns are not a single typology • Government policies and approaches that homogenise all towns in the peri urban are not appropriate

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