The Amenity Principle, Internal Migration, and Rural Development in Australia

N.M. Argent, Matthew Tonts, R.N. Jones, J.H. Holmes

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    Arguably, rural land markets in Australia are currently in a high state of flux, with a panoply of competing interests seeking to capitalize on both the traditional and a range of newly emergent values anchored in land. Amenity-led migration is, we argue, an important strand of this renewed interest in rural lands, albeit one that is highly spatially selective. Employing a predictive and synoptic model of migration attractiveness across southeastern and southwestern Australia, we test its associations with migration currents into and out of rural communities for the 1990s and 2000s. This article finds that communities with high relative accessibility-to metropolitan and urban centers and the coast-and an established or emerging tourism industry have been most likely to experience net migration gains. Yet amenity migration also intersects with more traditional rural land uses and, in particular, irrigated agriculture. Farming, and the biophysical environment and cultural landscape it both draws on and produces, is an important attractor of amenity migration. © 2014 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)305-318
    JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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