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Welcome to the Boomtown! Darwin and the 'Boomtown Syndrome'

Taylor, Andrew and Winter, James (2013). Welcome to the Boomtown! Darwin and the 'Boomtown Syndrome'. Northern Institute Research Brief Series,(3):1-14.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Welcome to the Boomtown! Darwin and the 'Boomtown Syndrome'
Author Taylor, Andrew
Winter, James
Journal Name Northern Institute Research Brief Series
Publication Date 2013
Issue Number 3
Start Page 1
End Page 14
Total Pages 14
Place of Publication Darwin, NT
Publisher Charles Darwin University, The Northern Institute
Field of Research 1603 - Demography
Abstract Summary of the brief
The purpose of this research brief is to discuss impacts which might be expected from the development of Darwin as an international Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) ‘hub’. In particular we examine research and literature from overseas which speaks of a range of positive and negative outcomes from the construction of large oil and gas processing facilities in Canada, Alaska and the Arctic Circle. One field is the ‘Boomtown’ literature which provides case studies documenting social and economic outcomes in small towns during construction and shortly thereafter. Commonly, local economic benefits fall short of predictions and negative social impacts have originated from the injection of large numbers of male construction workers into the community. The literature identifies several stages communities pass through during project inception, construction and operation. This has become known as the ‘Boomtown Syndrome’. We describe the characteristics of the Boomtown Syndrome and postulate on whether Darwin’s population size and economic basis might shield it from negative outcomes commonly seen overseas. We outline mitigating strategies employed elsewhere in light of the large expansion of the gas industry underway in Darwin from the construction of INPEX’s Blaydin Point LNG plant. 

Keywords Northern Territory
Boomtown syndrome
Description for Link Link to published version

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