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Page 1

DECLARATION OF CONFLICTING INTEREST The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with
respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. FUNDING The author(s) received no
financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

1

International Journal
of Rural Law and
Policy

No. 2 2017

© 2017 The Author(s). This
is an Open Access article
distributed under the terms
of the Creative Commons
Attribution 4.0 Unported
(CC BY 4.0) License (https://
creativecommons.org/
licenses/by/4.0/), allowing
third parties to copy and
redistribute the material in
any medium or format and to
remix, transform, and build
upon the material for any
purpose, even commercially,
provided the original work is
properly cited and states its
license.

Citation: Boyd Dirk
Blackwell, ‘Editorial: An
Overview of Thriving Through
Transformation’ (2017) 2
International Journal of Rural
Law and Policy, Article ID
5525. http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/
ijrlp.i2.2017.5525

ISSN 1839-745x | Published
by UTS ePRESS | http://ijrlp.
epress.lib.uts.edu.au

PAGE NUMBER NOT FOR
CITATION PURPOSES

The articles published in this special issue come from the blind peer review and refinement
of papers presented to the biennial conference of the Australia New Zealand Society for
Ecological Economics (ANZSEE) held at the University of New England (UNE) in
Armidale, New South Wales (NSW), Australia on 19-23 October 2015. All papers jointly
contribute to helping transform the human existence toward one that is socially, culturally,
environmentally, ecologically, economically and politically sustainable. Transforming our
human existence to meet these multiple dimensions of ‘true’ sustainability is a difficult task,
balancing potentially competing interests and, inevitably, involving trade-offs between these
dimensions.

As current President of ANZSEE and Chair of the organising committee of the 2015
biennial conference of the same name as this special issue, I am pleased to provide an overview
of the conference and discuss the articles presented in this issue.

EDITORIAL

An overview of thriving through
transformation

Boyd Blackwell
University of New England, Australia

Corresponding author: Boyd Dirk Blackwell, CRC for Remote Economic Participation, University
of New England, Australia. [email protected]

DOI: http://doi.org/10.5130/ijrlp.i2.2017.5525

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/ijrlp.i2.2017.5525
http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/ijrlp.i2.2017.5525
http://ijrlp.epress.lib.uts.edu.au
http://ijrlp.epress.lib.uts.edu.au
mailto:[email protected]
http://doi.org/10.5130/ijrlp.i2.2017.5525

Page 2

Boyd Editorial: An overview of thriving through transformation

International Journal of Rural Law and Policy
2017 (2) Special edition: Thriving through transformation: Ideas for local to global sustainability

2

INTRODUCTION
At the foundation of transforming human existence to one that is socially, culturally, environmentally,
ecologically, economically and politically sustainable is the concept of efficiency; that is, where there are
gains in a number of dimensions of sustainability without trade-offs in others. Such efficiency forms the
foundation for the principle of Sustainable Economic Development promoted in 1972 by the Club Rome.1
Today the concept of efficiency is as important as it was in 1972 when considering how to reach our
‘transformation goals’. Indeed, the need to transform has carried over into many facets of life, as
evidenced by various events such as with the global nomination of the Pope, Herman Daly and the Club of
Rome for a Nobel Peace Prize in Sustainable Development2 to the locality of Armidale (NSW, Australia)3
having the hottest year on record when the supply of air cooling capital was uncharacteristically surpassed
by demand.4

Transformation entails changing from one state to another or several sequential states. An underlying
philosophy of the conference and the papers contained in this special issue is for the need to take action by
‘walking the talk’ as well as ‘talking the talk’; that is, to take action to change current human behaviour.
Understanding, measuring and describing change is inherent in economic analysis, as is the concept of
efficiency. Both concepts are critical to the study of biology and ecology and are indeed important in a
range of other disciplines. Our conference was, therefore, designed to connect the intellectual to the
practical and the applied, and attempted to ‘walk the talk’ by including the following initiatives:

• Workshops on integrating Aboriginal knowledge systems with those from the pure and social sciences
brought academics from across the disciplines of Art, Humanities, Education, Economics, Park
Management, Northern Institute, Health and many other disciplines.

• Field trips exposed participants to: Australia’s Gondwana World Heritage rainforests; the local
Aboriginal Keeping Place; New England Regional Art and Printing Museums’ Community Garden; and
a UNE linguist’s backyard, which was a homegrown food bowl for his family and the broader
Armidale community.5

• Delegates received stainless steel water bottles embossed with the ANZSEE logo rather than plastic
bottles to ensure reduced landfill, waste and embodied energy.

• Conference transport was by bus and bicycle to further reduce the ecological footprint of our
conference.

All conference talks were recorded and are available at
(https://capture.une.edu.au/ess/portal/section/1d7d7b8b-8301-4a5d-aa8e-d912d45922ef). Also available
is a parallel series of refereed conference papers, which should be read in conjunction with the articles
presented here (see http://anzsee.org/2015conferencepapers/). The recordings include a virtual
collaborative event with Griffith University, where we joined with leading global evolutionary economists to
discuss and debate the alternative paths to sustainable transformative states
(www.griffith.edu.au/business-government/griffith-business-school/departments/department-accounting-
finance-economics/news-and-events/managing-the-transition-to-a-stable-economy). The conference web
page, at http://anzsee.org, is designed to provide readers with more ideas of how to make transformative
changes.

1 Donella H Meadows, Dennis L Meadows, Jorgen Randers and William Behrens III, The Limits to Growth: A Report on the
Club of Rome’s Project on the Predicament of Mankind (Universe Books, 1972), <www.donellameadows.org/wp-
content/userfiles/Limits-to-Growth-digital-scan-version.pdf>.

2 Nobel Peace Prize for Sustainable Development (2015) Nobel Peace Prize Themed for Sustainable Development
<http://np4sd.org>.

3 Hottest Year on Record Since 1891 (2017) The Weather at Armidale NSW <www.weatherarmidale.com>.
4 Jacinta Tutty, ‘Queensland Heat Wave Sparks Fan Shortage’, Courier Mail (online), 13 January 2017

<www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-heatwave-sparks-fan-shortage/news-
story/c1ebe8e3a51a8d33f0cce169f856df8d?from=htc_rss>.

5 We enjoyed homemade baked apple pies (made from homegrown apples) in our cross-cultural workshop because of the
generosity of the Bruderhof people from Danthonia in the New England region; they joined with us in discussing taking
transformation action at Dr Nash’s homegrown and cooked vegetarian lunch and garden tour (the meal accompanied
with freshly baked bread made by the famous ‘Nick’ of the Gold Fish Bowl). Simply sharing good food with good people
can nourish and connect the souls of people for an indefinite period of time.

Page 44

Peniche Camps Reshaping the economic landscape in the Santiago river basin, Jalisco,
Mexico: An ecological economics perspective of regional integration

International Journal of Rural Law and Policy
2017 (2) Special edition: Thriving through transformation: Ideas for local to global sustainability

7

Gutiérrez, Laura, La Industria Maquiladora de Exportación, Importante en el Desarrollo Económico de Jalisco
(12 September 2013) Axopolis <http://www.axopolis.com/organismos-ip/8060-la-industria-maquiladora-de-
exportacion-importante-en-el-desarrollo-economico-de-jalisco-jose-palacios.html>.

Guzmán, Manuel, Chapala una Crisis Programada (Grupo Parlamentario del Partido Verde, 2003).

Harvey, David, Diecisiete Contradicciones y el Fin del Capitalismo (IAEN, 2014).

IIEG (Instituto de IEstadística y Geográfica), (March 2016) <http://iieg.gob.mx/index.php>.

Klein, Naomi, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate (Penguin, 2014).

Marx, Karl, Capital (Vintage, vol 3, 1981), 949.

Medez, Ernesto, ‘Es Hora de Ir al Grano; México Importa 43% de los Alimentos’, Excelsior, 17 de Mayo 2013
<http://www.excelsior.com.mx/nacional/2013/05/05/897514>.

Mesclier, Evelyne, ´Por Qué y Cómo Estudiar y Comparar las Evoluciones de los Territorios Locales en un Mundo
Globalizado´ (2013) 25 Espacio y Desarrollo <http://www.documentation.ird.fr/hor/fdi:010065656>.

Peniche, Salvador, Agua y Economía Fresera en la Cuenca del Río Duero. La Trasformación del Modelo
Hidroagrícola Mexicano (Guadalajara UDG, 2005).

Polanyi, Karl, La Gran Transformación. Los Orígenes Políticos y Económicos de Nuestro Tiempo (Fondo de
Cultura Económica, 1992).

Soddy, Frederick, The Role of Money: What it Should be, Contrasted with What it has Become (Routledge,
1934).

Suarez, Jorge, Ahora o Nunca. La Gran Oportunidad de México para Crecer (Debate, 2012); Tonatiuh Moreno,
‘Plan Maestro del Corredor Logístico Industrial Automotriz del Bajío´ (2015) 17(1) Quivera 3.

Svampa, Maristella, ´Consenso de los Comodities y Lenguajes de Valoración en América Latina´ (2013) 244
Nueva sociedad <http://nuso.org/articulo/consenso-de-los-commodities-y-lenguajes-de-valoracion-en-america-
latina/>.

Tagle, Daniel, La Crisis Multidimensional del Agua en el Estado de Guanajuato (Porrúa, 2014).

Toledo, Victor M, ‘Diez Tesis Sobre la Crisis de la Modernidad’ (2012) 33 Polis, DOI: 10.4067/s0718-
65682012000300014>.

Page 45

DECLARATION OF CONFLICTING INTEREST The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with
respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. FUNDING The author(s) received no
financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

1

International Journal
of Rural Law and
Policy

No. 2 2017

© 2017 The Author(s). This
is an Open Access article
distributed under the terms
of the Creative Commons
Attribution 4.0 Unported
(CC BY 4.0) License (https://
creativecommons.org/
licenses/by/4.0/), allowing
third parties to copy and
redistribute the material in
any medium or format and to
remix, transform, and build
upon the material for any
purpose, even commercially,
provided the original work is
properly cited and states its
license.

Citation: I Tiley, ‘Australian
Local Government
Sustainability and
Transformation: Structural
Reform and the fit for the
Future (F4F) Reform Initiative
in New South Wales – Forced
Council Amalgamations
(2017) 2 International Journal
of Rural Law and Policy,
Article ID 4935. http://dx.doi.
org/10.5130/ijrlp.i2.2017.4935

ISSN 1839-745x | Published
by UTS ePRESS | http://ijrlp.
epress.lib.uts.edu.au

PAGE NUMBER NOT FOR
CITATION PURPOSES

ABSTRACT
For decades, sustainability and, especially, long-term financial sustainability and
transformation, primarily through structural and other modes of reform, have constituted
major concerns and problems for ‘grass roots’ Australian government. Usually the catalyst
for change in these areas has emanated from state and territory jurisdictions which have
imposed reforms, often with little regard for local councils or the communities they serve.

Since August 2011, a structured process of dialogue and consultation has continued in
the New South Wales local government sector, with the objective of implementing beneficial
reform. The paper briefly explains this transformation initiative, particularly the NSW
Government Fit for the Future (F4F) process and the current 35 council merger proposals.

The process is considered from the perspective of a long-term local government
practitioner, elected representative, Mayor, and former member of the NSW Local
Government Acts Taskforce (LGAT).

Keywords
local government, mergers, transformation, Fit for the Future, financial sustainability.

ARTICLE

Australian local government sustainability and
transformation: Structural reform and the fit
for the future (F4F) reform initiative in New
South Wales ― forced council mergers

Ian Tiley
University of New England, Australia

Corresponding author: Ian Tiley, School of Business, University of New England, Australia.
[email protected]

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/ijrlp.i2.2017.4935

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/ijrlp.i2.2017.4935
http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/ijrlp.i2.2017.4935
http://ijrlp.epress.lib.uts.edu.au
http://ijrlp.epress.lib.uts.edu.au
mailto:[email protected]
http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/ijrlp.i2.2017.4935

Page 88

Abstracts: ANZSEE Biennial Conference

International Journal of Rural Law and Policy
2017 (2) Special edition: Thriving through transformation: Ideas for local to global sustainability

35

The emissions trading experience: Factors associated with acceptance and
emissions reductions

Neale Wardley, Victoria University



It is widely held that human activity has contributed to global warming due to a steady increase in the level

of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and an enhanced greenhouse effect. This study sheds light on a market

based response to the mitigation of the resultant climate change. The tradeable emission permit approach

is also known as cap and trade greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trading. Despite the strong academic

support for GHG emissions trading it has not, as yet, matched the success of prior programs in achieving the

required reduction in emissions.

Over the project evidence has been found for the factors that are important during the implementation of a

tradeable permit program. There are indications that these factors are either associated with the

acceptance of GHG emissions trading or emissions reductions but not both.

The various factors of scheme design have been compared to see how they that have affected performance.

There is a trend observed in a group of design factors that are important to gain acceptance of GHG

emission trading schemes. The data indicates that these factors may have an inverse correlation with the

desired outcome of emissions reductions.



Demystifying sustainability ― why it isn’t the same as ‘sustainable
development’

Haydn Washington, University of New South Wales



Twenty-eight years have gone by since ‘Our Common Future’ came out from the World Commission on

Environment and Development, yet we have gone backwards in terms of sustainability. Why? Because the

term has been buried under layer upon layer of academic jargon. At the heart of the problem is that

sustainable ‘development’ has been co-opted to be based on endless growth. The UN means this by

‘sustainable development’, as did WCED. The ‘endless growth myth’ lies at the heart of our current

unsustainability, the key denial that stops real change. This stops us either thriving today or transforming to

a sustainable future. However, despite this, many continue to speak about ‘sustainable growth’ and ‘green

growth’, both of which are actually oxymorons. UNEPs ‘green economy’ is based on this, as is the ‘circular

economy’. Both fail to properly consider either overpopulation or overconsumption, key drivers of

unsustainability. It is time to demystify sustainability and accept that endless growth on a finite planet is

not only impossible, it is the fundamental cause of the environmental crisis. The paper considers seven

things sustainability cannot be, and then canvasses what a meaningful sustainability should be – the ‘Great

Work’ of repairing the Earth.



Towards evaluating post-disaster recovery

Roberta Ryan, University of Technology, Sydney

Liana Wortley, University of Technology, Sydney

Éidín O’Shea, University of Technology, Sydney



Natural disasters are an inherent part of the Australian landscape and impose a range of economic, social

and environmental costs on governments, businesses and communities. Since 2009, natural disasters have

claimed more than 200 lives, destroyed 2670 houses and damaged a further 7680, and affected the lives

and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Australians (Productivity Commission, 2014a:3). Over the past

decade, the Australian Government has spent around $8billion on post-disaster relief and recovery

(Productivity Commission 2014a, 2014b) and another $5.7 billion is expected to be spent over the forward

estimates for past natural disaster events (Australian Audit Office, 2015: 132). A key objective of this

Page 89

Abstracts: ANZSEE Biennial Conference

International Journal of Rural Law and Policy
2017 (2) Special edition: Thriving through transformation: Ideas for local to global sustainability

36

investment is to increase the resilience of communities to future events. Despite the considerable resource

input, there is currently no agreed national framework or indicators for evaluating the appropriateness,

effectiveness and efficiency o f recovery efforts, or whether these have led to more resilient communities.

This paper responds to this gap by providing a detailed analysis of existing evaluation practice materials

from post -disaster recovery programs both nationally and internationally . A typology was developed to

categorise evaluations of natural disasters and to identify case studies that may inform the development of

national evaluation framework.

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