Rural services and planning [was:Re: Reasons for BRI ISDN]
Wed, 13 Nov 1996 15:45:54 -0700 (MST)
Ian Peter's comments struck a chord with me and brought to mind some other
concepts regarding planning that I don't understand here. Warning, I've
not given this a great deal of "deep thought" and I'm not a sociologist,
so forgive any disjointedness, please.
I've read that urbanisation is one of the problems that many countries are
facing in that the toll on infrastructure as a result of overcrowding in
cities has been drastic. Cities that come to mind are Mexico City,
Bangkok, even Chicago and New York. Because of lost opportunities in the
rural areas and little hope of recovered jobs, the younger generations
come to the "big smoke" to try and do something with their lives.
The supposed promise of telecommunications development in some places has
been the ability to do business and other life tasks remotely, from
regional centres or even remote rural settings, thereby reducing the
influx to the cities and pressures on sometimes an overburdened tax base
that can't keep up...[not to mention all the social problems that develop
when the bubble bursts because of a lack of opportunities once the rural
youth arrive, but that's another story].
Instead, it seems that Australian governments are missing the opportunity
to build a proper infrastructure to do what Ian is talking about, attend
to regional development. Is this the concern of the Commonwealth or the
States? Do the policy makers understand that an investment in this
connectivity AND putting it to use wisely [e.g. education and training
programs on how to best use a modern communication system to its full
advantage] can divert some of this dislocation before it becomes a
problem? Victoria is one of the better places because there are efforts
going on, at least in planning stages I believe, to put in some
infrastructure on a state-wide basis. [It doesn't quite square with the
closures of the social service offices and hospitals, but that's another
story, too. As Postman would put it, it's an incongruance, but that
appears to be a typical problem with our government officials nowadays.]
And as was said, the economics don't add up for non-governmental
If we can fund sports stadia [MANY], Grand Prix [MANY], give tax
consessions to casinos [MANY], surely the return from regional development
and remote communications can be put higher on the list of priorities.
Not quite sure how to end this post, so....
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