LAND RICH AND DATA POOR: MODELLING REQUIREMENTS IN AUSTRALIA'S FAR NORTH

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Abstract

Economic models have long been used as a way of organising and presenting information for policy makers interested in large regions—e.g. nations—and recent advances in information technology make the goal of developing models for decision makers in other locales a realistic one. The research on which this paper focuses was part of large project investigating the feasibility and desirability of developing a multi-disciplinary computer model of the Australian Savannas. In the large project, researchers were broken in to three teams: those considering the biophysical, demographic, and economic aspects of the modelling problem. This paper presents findings from part of the economic component of the investigation: that which sought information from key local ‘stakeholders’ about the type of information that would be useful to them. Responses indicate that many of Australia's existing economic models are capable of providing the ‘right’ type of information; but at too coarse a geographic scale for those in remote regions. Evidently, there is a need for developing other models.

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