Exploring Factors Affecting the Quality of Life for Australia’s Rural Population

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Australia is a vast land with a diverse environment and communities isolated by great distances. Its peoples have a diversity of culture, educational and economic circumstances, health needs, services, and social structure. Therefore the welfare issues experienced and the impact these have to lifestyle within Australia’s different populations would also differ in relation to these factors. This is certainly true for Rural Australia. The biggest factor impacting Rural Australia has been the changes to the economic viability of primary production, one of the largest sources of income for Australia (Australian Government, 2008), affected by globalization, deregulation, privatisation and reduction/withdrawal of services, rising production costs, and ever present unpredictable environmental conditions (Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission Secretariat, 2000). This can be generalised in this basic explanation: Most primary production takes place in Rural Australia. When the producers (for instance farmers/graziers/miners) aren’t making sufficient income from their businesses to provide a profit they reduce spending. Falling profits can be caused by numerous factors for instance: a poor season’s harvest, reduced prices at market for their products, increased costs in production or in transport, among other reasons. There are various avenues open to producers in this circumstances but the most common is to restructure their business by reducing the staff they employ and lowering expenditure by reducing purchases of new equipment, goods or services. This reduction of spending flows on to supplying business in the region that relies on this custom for their profits. These other businesses then have to change the way th... ... middle of paper ... ... (1999). Rural and Isolated School Students and their Higher Education Choices. Higher Education Council, National Board of Employment, Education and Training, Commissioned Report No. 63. Melbourne: Commonwealth of Australia. Parliament of Australia: Senate Committee Report (2004). Chapter 14, Rural and Regional Communities. Retrieved May 8, 2010 from http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/completed_inquiries/2002-04/poverty/report/c14.htm Weeks, W & Quinn, M. (2000). Change and impact of restructure on Australian families: An introduction to key themes. Issues facing Australian families: Human services respond. Longman. Wilkinson, R., Kawachi, I., & Kennedy, B., 1998, Mortality, the social environment, crime and violence. In: Bartley, M., Blane, D., & Davey Smith, G. (eds). The Sociology of Health Inequalities. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

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