City, bush gap ‘ myth’ re­vealed

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

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.

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