A lack of differences in major policy areas such as agriculture and trade means local project funding – for roads, boat ramps and the like – reinforces the adage ‘all politics is local’.
On the big national policies affecting non-metropolitan Australia, such as agriculture and trade, the major party differences are minor. That's why the election focus turns to local projects.
Getting internet access to rural areas can be difficult.
Tractor laying cables via shutterstock.com
Only 55 percent of people living in rural areas have access to the speeds that currently qualify as broadband, while 94 percent of the urban population does.
While politicians like Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce do the traditional photo-ops, fewer people than ever are taking on farming, which can no longer support vibrant rural and regional communities on its own.
What are the issues facing rural and regional Australia? The challenges are many and varied – and only some have made the national political agenda – but these areas deserve better than neglect.
The mountain village of Novara di Sizilia, Italy.
When villages across Spain, Portugal and Italy are abandoned, the regions' unique culture and heritage is lost, too.
Food security efforts need to look beyond urban agriculture.
It's important to question whether the promotion of urban agriculture can actually help people, or whether other solutions should be explored.
Nearly 20 million South Africans live in rural areas. Why are the country’s universities so dismissive of rurality?
South Africa's educational policies and curricula tend to be biased against rural lifestyles - even though nearly 20 million people live in the country's rural areas.
When agriculture is disconnected from the local economy, its contribution to local economic development is limited.
Agriculture can only contribute to rural growth and development to the benefit of all if it links with an inclusive and diverse rural non-farm economy.
Shed some light on the problem.
Satellites, microwaves, radio towers - how many more options must be tried before the government just shells out for fibre to the home?
Mozambique has improved access to education, but it has to do more to meet the high expectations of its young and rapidly growing population.
Reuters/Grant Lee Neuenbur
Agriculture, which employs about 80% of the working population, and political stability are key to Mozambique's rapid economic and social progress.
Connecting up every house is a not a job for the fainthearted.
At least the parties agree that more internet is a good thing, even if they're short of ideas on how to provide it.
Superfast? I’ll be the judge of that.
BT van by urbanbuzz/www.shutterstock.com
Tell those living in the countryside about the government's promised "right to fast internet" and they'll show you 10 years of similar, unmet promises.
Even the tallest infrastructure creeks under flood pressure.
According to Ofcom, 80% of adults in the UK had access to the internet in 2013 and each spent about 35 hours online each month. And half of all adults in the UK access the web using their mobile phones…
More people in fewer cars, especially in the countryside.
As a parallel to fuel poverty, where the cost of heating and lighting accounts for 10% of a household’s income, the RAC Foundation has suggested a similar idea of transport poverty. And while Britain’s…
The Ruby Jo coal seam gas central processing plant, near Chinchilla in Queensland’s Surat Basin, October 2013.
Why would young Australians buck international trends and move to the country? According to our research, a growing youth population has been observed in coal seam gas (CSG) development areas within the…
We need more, but more of what? Perhaps not this.
Resource-intensive agriculture, despite its productivity, nevertheless has failed to feed the world’s current population, never mind the nine billion people expected by 2050. This system that currently…
Has Charles good points to make about the countryside, or is he just stirring it up?
In this week’s Country Life HRH Prince of Wales writes of the social and economic importance of farming. It is, he says: the bedrock of our rural communities, making post offices, pubs, public transport…