ERIC Number: ED390593
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Beyond the Conventional Wisdom: Rural Development As If Australia's Rural People Really Mattered. Background Paper.
Sher, Jonathan; Sher, Katrina Rowe
This paper proposes a framework for developing a national rural development policy in Australia. Some common relevant misconceptions are that rural Australia and rural Australians are peripheral to the national economy and the nation's future, that farmers and farming communities are the alpha and omega of rural Australia, and that whatever is best for the agricultural industry is also best for rural Australia as a whole. These misconceptions about rurality have resulted in public policies and programs that overlook the needs of the nonfarm population, the majority of Australia's rural population. Three major forms of government intervention--industry support policies and subsidies, government-supplied income for individuals, and social policies and programs--have not been sufficient to ensure a secure and prosperous rural future. The present rural crisis involves the radical decoupling of the fate of primary industries from the fate of traditional primary producers; the unwillingness of government to seriously support rural Australia's latent economic diversity; and complacency that has allowed the long-standing combination of industrial and social policies/programs to function as a de facto rural development strategy. A new rural development policy should give priority to a growing rural population base, ensure that rural people and communities reap an equitable share of the rewards derived from rural resources, account for a growing and diversifying rural economic base, encourage a growing rural employment base, strive for improved quality of rural life, and develop stronger, more cohesive rural communities. Key alliances within and across rural communities, between rural communities and governments, between the public and private sectors, and across the urban-rural divide will be important in initiating activities involving empowerment, environment, entrepreneurship, and education. Contains 90 references. (LP)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia; Empowerment
Note: In: Issues Affecting Rural Communities. Proceedings of an International Conference Held by the Rural Education Research and Development Centre (Townsville, Queensland, Australia, July 10-15, 1994); see RC 020 376.