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Regional Economic Development

All mines are finite resources and will eventually close. Over the next 25 years, it is estimated that about half of Australia’s active mines will transition to the end of their operational life.

While new mines may be developed to replace completed operations, even planned closures can create significant economic and social impacts. This is especially so for regional and remote communities, including First Nations communities, where mining is the predominant economic activity.

The Regional Economic Development research program recognises that mines and associated infrastructure are significant regional assets. It aims to understand the potential for repurposing and reuse, identify actions regional and First Nations communities can take to build long-term economic resilience and understand regulatory barriers to next land use.


  • Assess the different policy and regulatory frameworks within and between different jurisdictions to identify obstacles to successful mine closure and transition to a viable next land use
  • Understand how community values influence post-land use options, particularly across regions
  • Develop sophisticated and nuanced community-level decision systems, incorporating modelling of interrelationships and trade-offs
  • Apply predictive modelling and scenario analytical techniques to enable informed decision-making

Program Leader

Professor Fiona Haslam McKenzie

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Current Projects

Towards a framework for cumulative regional impact assessment

Project 1.1

Post Mining Land use

Project 1.2

Mapping the regulation of mine closure

Project 1.3

Understanding local readiness for closure: initiating a multi-stakeholder participatory approach

Project 1.4

Collaborative planning for post-mining development in the Latrobe Valley - Stage 1 (in final deveopment)

Project 1.7

Identifying future economic development pathways for mining regions and increasing transition capacity

Project 1.8

Navigating the Regulatory Framework Impacting the Economic Transformation of Mine Affected Land

Collaborative project