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Fault Lines Exposed:
Advantage and Disadvantage across Australia's Settlement System

By Scott Baum, Kevin O'Connor and Robert Stimson

Fault Lines Exposed intends to understand inequality across Australian cities and towns. Social and economic change in Australia has resulted in the emergence of disparities in advantage and disadvantage between metropolitan communities and regional localities, towns and cities. In 1999 the book Community Opportunity and Vulnerability (Baum et al.) considered the disparities that existed between communities using 1996 census data. This new book, available both online and in print, uses up-to-date data to reanalyse the patterns and consider the important policy issues that arise from the patterns identified. Fault Lines Exposed provides insight into advantage and disadvantage at an aggregate community or locality level. Such insight is necessary to better understand what is happening in society. It helps in the planning of effective solutions to problems that impact not only on individuals and families but also on communities.

Each of the chapters outlines the main findings from the typology of advantage and disadvantage. The book concludes with a strong policy orientation, addressing possible options and raising more policy questions.

Fault Lines Exposed will be essential reading for academics, researchers, students, policy makers and other professionals working in the areas of geography, sociology, economics and social work.

About the authors

Scott Baum has had a long standing interest in understanding the social conditions that shape local communities and the lives of their residents. He is an Australian Research Council Fellow in the Urban Research Program at Griffith University. His work has appeared in international journals including Urban Studies, Papers in Regional Science, Accident Analysis and Prevention and The Journal of Sociology. Scott Baum is on the editorial board of Urban Policy and Research and is the secretary of the Asia Pacific Sociological Association.

Kevin O’Connor is an economic geographer and Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on understanding economic systems and their impacts on cities and regions, and he has published widely in international and Australian journals. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia, and is co-author of Australia’s Changing Economic Geography: A Society Dividing (Oxford University Press, 2001) and Melbourne 2030: Planning Rhetoric Versus Urban Reality (Monash University ePress, 2005).

Robert Stimson is Professor of Geography and Director of the Centre for Research into Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures (CR-SURF) at the University of Queensland, and is convenor of the Australian Research Council Research Network in Spatially Integrated Social Science. He has published widely on urban, economic and behavioural geography, housing and housing policy, and urban and regional development and planning. He is president of the Regional Science Association International and is on the editorial board of several international journals including Papers in Regional Science.

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