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Time to spread out from cities

ROOM TO MOVE: While our cities are jam-packed there’s plenty of open space out in the country.


Wimmera Grain Company director David Matthews has given us all a between-the-eyes reminder that there is a mighty need for political will to explore a redistribution of our national population.

Mr Matthews has made a simple observation – there are too many people in our capital cities and not enough everywhere else.

It’s true. While buildings and other assets sit relatively idle in many regional centres we can almost hear the collective groan coming from our capital cities from the sheer weight of people.

It is little wonder that when news breaks about a pressing need or calls or plans for more government investment into metropolitan infrastructure that many of us start to question long-term direction.

Sometimes circumstances can almost seem ridiculous. Most of the time the costly needs of our cities are based on simply allowing a large amount of people to move a relatively short distance without creating mayhem and frustration.

While it makes sense to pour money into where most people in the country live, it certainly doesn’t make sense to encourage or ignore the fact that so many people live in each other’s pockets – especially when services and space are available in the regions of a geographically large country.

Mr Matthews is right when he points out the population of rural centres such as Horsham could grow by thousands with little impact on infrastructure. We could also add Ararat and Stawell to his argument.

He is also spot on when he adds that satellite towns Rupanyup or Minyip could double in population without too much of an impost on Treasury. Again, you could throw in Warracknabeal, Nhill, Murtoa, Dimboola, Kaniva, Jeparit and Rainbow.


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Posted on Aug 28 2013

Posted by on Aug 28 2013. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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