City, bush gap ‘ myth’ revealed
POLITICAL parties will have to come up with another reason for the shift to the minor parties because the economic gap between the city and the bush is a myth, according to the Grattan Institute.
The institute said the idea there was an economic divide between Australia’s cities and regions, and it was getting bigger, was a misconception.
But at the same time, first preference Senate votes for major parties are falling while minor party votes are rising, particularly in regional areas.
The finding follows recent Galaxy polling that showed One Nation with 17 per cent of the primary vote in Queensland and likely to pick up seats at the next state election.
The institute said there were areas in the bush that were doing it tough and cities such as Townsville had significantly higher unemployment, but those issues occurred in the capitals as well.
It said income growth was generally the same in the city and the regions and some bush towns had significantly lower unemployment than major cities. And while cities have higher average incomes, the gap in incomes between the cities and the regions is not getting wider.
The institute said some people considered the issues reflected culture wars.