Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Some thoughts on the future of towns


From Peel we meandered around the outskirts of Bathurst taking in another town Duramana which turned out to be just a church and a house or two. Soon after the city of Bathurst began to materialise on the horizon.

I am optimistic about the future of rural towns in this age of the global network. There is a growing move for information workers to be able to work from anywhere. I myself work from home three days a week with just two in the office and am soon to make this five days a week. This means I could live and work anywhere there is network connectivity, far from commuting distance to the city. I believe this will catch on strongly over the next few years.

Right now land in the country is cheap and the NSW government is offering people a $7,000 relocation grant to move from the city to the bush. The time is ripe for people to make the move to freedom and fresh air and it doesn't have to be a move to a tiny hick town, out here there are vibrant cities like Bathurst which we will visit in tomorrow's post.

I've added Durmana as a locality at 100 Towns.

10 comments:

  1. I hope you are right. It would be great to see Australia become more decentralised like the USA. Tamworth is a good example too. You are right about working from anywhere when hooked up to the global village via technology. Our SIL is a composer. He has an electronic studio in their spare bedroom. From there he composes music for a TV series produced in England. The animation is done in China, the music in Australia, the sound effects in England and the final production is done in England. This is great for us as he no longer has to live in England to do the job he loves, however he does have to go there now and then to keep physically in the mix for other jobs.

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    1. I wonder what impact the NBN will have on this scenario? It is a bit tough to compare the USA with Australia due to the massive disparity in population density.

      Diane's example of David is a fascinating one. There must be so many other workers who can operate from their spare room. In the days of 'social-media' where connectivity is all, I have so many young relatives who have that ability (to not need to work in an office) but who are addicted to the cosmopolitan life style. I know I am.

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    2. I love Diane's example. I agree addiction to the city life is a factor ... that is why I pointed out there are cities in regional Australia. There is also the factor of isolation from work companions ... I love working alone and even in the office seek to have a desk that is isolated from the crowd but I know for many people they just hate being at home and find it either lonely or distracting.

      As for the NBN. I doubt it will ever reach far into the bush, the people most in need of decent communications.

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  2. Lovely vista. I am ever hopeful that rural towns will prosper in Australia. When I retire I want it to be in one of the rural towns (my work unfortunately cannot be moved there now).
    It was an idea at one stage to get our migrants to settle in rural towns and revitalise their economy by establishing industries and government department relocations there. Whatever happened to that idea?

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    1. The migrants come from cities far bigger than ours, so like most Australians want to live in cities. When they relocate government departments all the city people get upset.

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  3. I know that a lot of city people do make the move out of the suburbs, but it seems most of them still move to the coast. I hope that more of them have the imagination and courage to move to the bush.

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  4. I think I'm optimistic too, though it will take time to reverse the trend towards urbanization. I envy your telecommuting arrangement. My job is flexible, but not quite so much as yours.

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  5. This is a wonderful image ... especially from grass-seed height ...

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  6. "I am optimistic about the future of rural towns in this age of the global network."

    Me, too. There's a series about to start on ABC that I'm keen to follow:

    Country Town Rescue

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  7. Yes I am looking forward to this series too.

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