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Sea change: re-inventing rural and regional Australia

  • Year: 2002
  • Author: Murphy, Peter
  • Journal Name: Transformations (Online)
  • Journal Number: 2
  • Country: Australia

The ABC’s popular SeaChange series has re-popularised the idyll of getting away from big city pressures to high amenity rural and small town settings on the Australian coastline and in select inland localities usually within striking distance of the big cities. This paper addresses: the changing relationships between city and hinterland that enable, or drive, such choices; the reasons why people choose to move; the different types of places in which they settle; and the implications for these places, the settlers and existing residents. Movements from city to country have been going on for a long time, 30 years in their contemporary manifestations in Australia and in other western industrialised nations. Whilst the factors involved are constant, there are significant recent shifts to the balance of forces that make the most recent period, and the scenario for the future, distinctive and worthy of continued attention by researchers and policy makers. Drawing on a long-term research engagement with the subject, the paper is based on a recent public lecture given by the author at the State Library of New South Wales.

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