Some rural towns in Australia are coping with social and economic restructuring and producing sustainable population growth and economic development, whilst other rural towns are experiencing rapid population decline, the loss of social capital, and poor social and economic conditions. Social capital theory plays an important role in explaining the ability of rural communities to adapt to the changing social and economic environment. The present study examines the rural town of Jandowae in Queensland as a case study on the process of town revitalisation and the role of social capital in this revitalisation. The town of Jandowae has experienced intense media coverage of the Dollar Block Promotion implemented by the local Wambo Shire Council. The Promotion involved selling blocks of residential and industrial land for one dollar to encourage population and economic growth.
Based on semi-structured interviews and desktop analysis, it was concluded that the Dollar Block Promotion was only one component of the town revitalisation process as there were two prior development initiatives that also contributed to the renewal process. Additionally, the findings showed that the Council implemented a top-down approach towards rural development in Jandowae. The top-down approach did not produce the traditionally associated negative outcomes. Instead, the outcomes were similar to the features of a bottom-up approach and the concept of sustainable community development, which resulted in the revitalisation of Jandowae.