Murray Bridge Workshop


Researchers working on the Local Government and Housing ARC Linkage Project met with some of the project’s partner organisations at Murray Bridge on 9 November 2017. Hosted by the Rural City of Murray Bridge, and led by Emeritus Professor John Martin, the meeting had representatives from four South Australian councils along with researchers and PhD student Jessica Porter.

The highlight of the day was a presentation by Emeritus Professor Chris Paris who is visiting from Ireland. Chris talked about his research on second homes (holiday homes) including new developments such as Airbnb. The evolution of second homes in South Australia from self-built shacks so typical in the 1950s and 1960s through to today’s mansions was fascinating. Beyond South Australia, Chris also discussed second homes in national and global contexts. His presentation, entitled The changing ecology of Australian second homes, can be found here.

Project Officer Sandy Horne updated the group about the online survey of local government CEOs. Sandy presented some early data which prompted discussion about the difficulties of trying to regulate entities such as Airbnb.

PhD student Jessica Porter’s presentation was well received. Jessica is 12 months into her candidature and is in the data collection phase. Her research question is: What is the impact of State initiated affordable housing policies on the supply of affordable housing in non-metropolitan Australia and how are these policies mediated by local governments? Jessica is based at UniSA’s Mount Gambier campus and will be doing a comparative study of regional cities in South Australia and Victoria.

The day ended with a discussion led by Emeritus Professor John Martin dealing with the important topics of local leadership and the South Australian Government’s reform of their Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act. John posed the question: What are the political influence opportunities for Local Governments? which prompted an interesting range of responses from participants.

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