Tasmanian Times


DON’T MISS TONIGHT: Building local living economies


Monday 29th June, 7:00 pm Baha’i Centre.

International Expert Says Tasmania Can Beat the Global Financial Crisis and Climate Change By Supporting Local Businesses

International localisation expert Michael Shuman, says Tasmania must support its own local home grown business rather than subsidise foreign corporations if it wants to defy the global financial crisis.

Michael Shuman is author of seven books including “The Small Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses are Beating the Global Competition” and “Going Local: Creating Self Reliant Communities in the Global Age”. Michael is also Director of Policy for BALLE, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.

Michael will be presenting a free public lecture on Monday 7pm at the Baha’i Centre (next to the ABC) in Hobart.

Mr Shuman says that by supporting local businesses, Tasmania can reap much higher economic multipliers due to the flow on effects of the money circulating in the local economy.

“By replacing imports more local economic activity is generated. Local businesses use local services and the money circulates in the local economy creating jobs and wealth.” Mr Shuman said
“Supporting local businesses strengthens our local communities and can significantly reduce the impact of climate change by reducing transportation impacts”

“While the evidence is clear that support for local businesses has the highest benefit to the local economy, the story around the world is that nearly all public subsidises go to attracting and retaining foreign corporations. The key to building strong resilient local living economies lies in supporting local businesses.” Mr Shuman said

“Where ever you look economies that reply on foreign corporations are more fragile, often end up using public money to subside the business and are always open to the threat that the business will close leaving the local economy in tatters.”

Mr Shuman offers numerous proposals to support local businesses and build vibrant local living economies including:
– Local First Campaigns
– Local investing strategies particularly in relation to super funds
– Support and training for local entrepreneurs
– Import replacement audits and plug the leaks strategies
The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies brings together small business leaders, economic development professionals, government officials, social innovators, and community leaders to build local living economies.
“BALLE focuses on supporting local businesses to build a new economy based on sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, zero-waste manufacturing, independent retail, community capital and green building.” Mr Shuman said.
Tasmanian host and local businessman Rod West says that there are numerous opportunities for Tasmania to build and strength the local economy by encouraging small local businesses to create industries around import replacement opportunities.
“For example, Tasmania is known for its fresh and delicious local strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. But if you go to any local supermarket you won’t find local frozen berries.” Mr West said
“Instead the berries are imported from overseas including Chile. The dollars to import these weaken our local economy and are a lost economic opportunity. This is just one example of the numerous import replacement opportunities Tasmania has.”
Mr West said that over the last twenty years Tasmania had undergone an economic revolution moving from being dependent on a few large foreign resource extraction businesses to a new clean green diversified economy largely dependent on small local businesses.
“For years Tasmania was an economic basket case as we pursued an economic strategy of subsidizing a few large resource extraction companies. In the end nearly all of these businesses closed down. This left Tasmania’s economy weak but new local businesses in a whole range of clean green industries have grown to replace them and have created a vibrant local economy.” Mr West said

Public Lecture
Monday 29 June 7pm
Baha’i Auditorium
Tasmanian Tour Sponsors
– Eco Tasmania Inc
– Local Government Association of Tasmania
– Sustainable Living Tasmania
– Richard Jones Memorial Lecture Fund
– Department of Economic Development

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Factfinder

    June 26, 2009 at 6:56 am

    With kind regards to Michael, here the latest from my mailbox a few minutes ago:

    June 26, 2009
    Sustainable Agriculture Requires Farm Modernization, Free Markets, Tech Adoption

    A new report focuses on the challenge of how to sustainably meet the growing energy and food demands of a global population approaching nine billion people in 2050.

    The report, “Investing in Agriculture: Far-Reaching Challenge, Significant Opportunity: An Asset Management Perspective,” from DB Climate Change Advisors, focuses on the steps needed to boost agricultural productivity as the world’s population grows through 2050.

    DBCCA, in collaboration with The Nelson Institute’s Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW), estimates that the caloric needs globally will increase 50 percent by 2050 driven by population, wealth and diet as well as biofuel demand.

    According to the report, “a lack of investment, misguided agricultural policies and subsidies, and lack of farmer education, training, and adoption has led to low agricultural productivity in much of the world,” but “with proper policy guidelines in place that encourage farm modernization, free markets, and technology adoption, the production gap can be closed.”

    There are several tariff systems and subsidies that create distortions in the global agriculture markets, say researchers. In addition, policy makers and scientists are asking how agriculture can help to mitigate carbon emissions, which they say is evident in the U.S. Waxman-Markey legislation.

    The report says sustainable forestry, addressing deforestation, and ending slash-and-burn agricultural conversion are the answers, together with carbon sinks that can also be created through practices that sequester carbon in agricultural soils.

    The study finds that the agriculture sector can participate in the mitigation of climate change due to its ability to store and cycle CO2 and to provide potential offset markets for the trading/management of carbon. This can be done through a number of technologies and management practices such as no-till cropland management, planting of perennials and the development of biochar resources, according to the study.

    In the U.S., a recent sustainable agriculture survey released by Rabobank finds that nearly 70 percent of the U.S. farmers and ranchers have taken steps toward implementing sustainable agricultural practices, and dairy farmers are striving to cut 25 percent annual GHG emissions related to the production of fluid milk by 2020. …

  2. Low Carl

    June 26, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Sounds like fertiliser for the local identity creative dynamics of individuals, partnerships and associates in community identity and society in advance of national commonwealth. Local town football teams come back to life. The Greasy Spoon cafe is ressurrected at the downfall of McD’s. Vegimite is given away because local vitality has more than enough.

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