Abstract: There is a broad consensus that the corporate sector has an active role in facilitating community development through corporate-community investment. However, there remains uncertainty as to how much the sector should invest without taking on responsibilities and influencing decisions which are traditionally within the realm of the state. This paper explores the contemporary role of mining companies in regional governance through a case study of housing and residential land use planning and supply within the Bowen Basin coal mining and coal seam gas extraction region in Queensland, Australia. Mining companies were found to have a broad role in planning and development with far-reaching implications for land use and the wider regional community. These arrangements have emerged in response to corporate sensibilities, some recent policy requirements and most importantly, in pragmatic response to the institutional void apparent in many regional communities. In the absence of an effective regional framework with a clear and defined role for governments and corporations, powerful corporate interests risk effectively ‘capturing’ the regional development agenda within a framework that works on short-term paternalism rather than long-term regional partnerships. This also has implications for the efficiency of governance. Stronger institutional arrangements need to be developed to strengthen the capacity of the state to oversee these relationships. Regional governance and planning theory also needs to address this deficit.
Morrison, T., Wilson, C., Bell, M., 2012, The role of private corporations in regional planning and development: Opportunities and challenges for the governance of housing and land use, Volume:28, Journal Article, viewed 17 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3981.