City Country Divide  Western Australia wa

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City Country Divide  Western Australia wa
City Country Divide
The following is an attempt to rationalise the problems facing regional Australians from my perspective as a resident, small businessman and farmer in regional WA. The organisation Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) has been created to give Regional Australia a voice. More great initiates can be found on the Bank of Ideas, Initiatives for the Development of Enterprising Actions & Strategies

I see it like this. The Australian Economy is functioning much like a 100acre sheep paddock. The sheep graze the whole paddock and then camp under the trees at night where they empty out (crap). As a result there is a migration of nutrient from the paddock to the camp where the grass grows rank and is wasted. In Australia big companies and governments are transferring the economic nutrient from the bush to the city where is is squandered. Tourism is one of the few industries that can reverse this economic nutrient cycle. It is important to get people from the city into the bush, not just for the economic reason but to help them understand the challenges farmers face. Farmstays  have a place to play in this, city people can visit farms and have a chance to appreciate our farmland and the challenges that farmers face. Australia's long term security is dependant on a viable and sustainable farming sector, this is under threat.

With most people now living in cities, our politicians continue to focus on the interests of their city constituents, overlooking the fact that without a viable, sustainable farming industry cities can not exist. With Australia's worsening balance of payments importing food will become less and less of an option once the mining boom ends.  The plan to plunder the water recourses of the Yarragadee to supply Perth is yet another example of the damage of city centric government.

The big four banks all pull economic value from the bush but are reluctant to provide services, fortunately the Bendigo Bank have developed the Community Banking  program, an innovative concept developed to provide communities with a means for facilitating economic revitalisation and the enhancement of local services and infrastructure

It is said that the great walls, that were only built around some ancient cities, were built towards the end of these great civilisations, when the city traders needed to defend themselves from the farmers who they were ripping off. I sometimes think that our civilisation is approaching a similar situation! Change is starting to happen, driven by thinking people  who see that there is another way. This is happening through activities like Farmers Markets , Organic Farming, Permaculture and the Slow Food movement. All these are getting back to core values, recognising that money is important but not the basis for all decisions.
Barry Green, Managing Director, Western Tourist Radio.


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