The Future of Farming in Rural Amenity Landscapes: the role of planning and governance in changing landscape

Jane Roots

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    745 Downloads (Pure)


    This research investigated the role of farming and land use planning in creating and maintaining rural amenity landscapes. While there has been considerable academic interest in the phenomenon of amenity migration, and the creation and destruction of amenity landscapes, far less attention has been paid to understanding the societal influences that affect the decisions of the existing farming community. To a large extent, the public amenity value of these landscapes is directly dependent upon the land management decisions of numerous individual farmers. Yet current governance processes and planning paradigms are challenged by the myriad of landscape scale issues facing agriculture, as well as the growing diversity and complexity of rural communities.The research involved a qualitative case study of an attractive and agriculturally diverse landscape in north east Victoria, Australia. Similar to rural amenity landscapes found in New Zealand, North America, Europe and elsewhere in Australia, Indigo Shire is experiencing a steady influx of non-farming residents who have the potential to affect the visual diversity and economic resilience of these landscapes in both positive and negative ways. What makes Indigo Shire unique is that agriculture has remained an important economic contributor to the Shire in spite of these changes.Semi-structured interviews were conducted with forty eight key informants including farmers, local government staff, Councillors, planners, and agri-business advisors. Data was also gathered through observations of local planning forums, public meetings and workshops addressing land use issues, as well as analysis of secondary documentation. The study found a plethora of perspectives about the challenges and opportunities emanating from the landscape scale changes.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Charles Sturt University
    • Millar, Joanne, Co-Supervisor
    • Thwaites, Rik, Co-Supervisor
    Award date01 Jun 2013
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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