Fixing the Hole in Australia's Heartland
New approaches and new commitment are urgently needed in regard to remote Australia.With so much of our country’s wealth generated there, so much national and international attention on the dysfunctions experienced by some of our most vulnerable citizens, and so much at stake, more of the same - or working harder on and inherently perpetuating the old ‘solutions’ - is not an option.
Read more Watch more Read the compendium
Click here to order a copy of Fixing the Hole in Australia's Heartland
Inquiry into the use of ‘fly-in, fly-out’ (FIFO) workforce practices in regional Australia
You cannot have a parliamentary committee on every issue that affects remote communities. We actually have to look at the way the governance is structured. A town that does not have baker, a butcher or a dry cleaner, where the rate base does not cover the salaries of the employees of the shire council could hardly be seen to be viable, and yet that is the case right across remote Australia.
Read more on page 11 Read the submission
Having your say: Innovations in Governance in Remote Australia
No official body has ever questioned the basic framework for program delivery or asked whether governance might itself be a primary contributor to policy failings. To resolve ‘wicked’ problems in remote Australia, governments have resorted to whole of government and strategic intervention approaches. More of the same will not work. There is a profound systemic gap covering the development strategies of remote Australia.
Transforming Push into Pull
The reason we think that you are getting these distortion effects in remote Australia is because of growing centralisation of executive power. The power of democracy has driven the voting back to a central point where the dense population is. Public servants [have moved] from being trusted respected people in their local community to now people who are effectively contract managers of outsourcing contracts for services to be delivered. It is a very different social contract.
A History of the Central Australian Economy
If you look back through the history of Central Australia, look at the booms and busts that have grown the town of Alice Springs and the position of Alice Springs within the region, it is a very fragile history. Opportunistic things happened around Central Australia that were not driven by changes in commodity prices. They were driven by decisions from people elsewhere. How can we diversify our economy so we get beyond these booms and busts?
remoteFOCUS in the Media
Fixing the hole in Australia's heartland
Ros Childs, ABC News, 10/09/2012
Push for commission to solve outback crisis
Michael Gordon, The Age, 10/09/2012
Inquiry told it’s government policy, not FIFO, that’s crippling rural Australia
Babs McHugh, ABC Rural, 23/08/2012
Long-neglected outback akin to a failed state
Fred Chaney and Bruce Walker, The Australian, 04/09/2010
Desert Knowledge pushes for rural governance reform
Bronwyn Herbert, ABC News, 15/09/2008
Remote Australia on the verge of a ‘failed state’
Russell Skelton, The Age, 13/09/2008