Opinion

Letters to the editor

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March 06, 2018

Hard data on GV jobs

- John Pettigrew, Bunbartha

Employment in our region continues to transition from traditional rural-based jobs to government and other service sectors.

The recently published Murray-Darling Basin Authority analysis of water recovery in 41 communities across the Southern Basin has shown hard data informing of trends that should be recognised and taken into account by local government and authorities responsible for our region’s planning for the future. The final report of community level effect of the basin plan is expected to be finalised next month, with important data on water trading to be included.

It appears most rural transition took place during and as a result of the millennium drought with many smaller farming enterprises closing down and rural jobs lost.

It was the start of rapid changes to the workforce, retirements, new technologies, farm management practices and automatic irrigation all reducing the rural workforce.

The data available also details regional population growth and the enormous growth of government services across our region and this sector’s increasing importance to our regional economy and jobs.

Many of these jobs appear to stem from an ageing population with medical services, aged care and retirement facilities. However, education, social services and housing also show strong growth.

Evidence shows the basin plan has had manageable, negligible or no impact on most rural communities with the drought, market forces and other drivers also strong contributors to socio-economic change in our region during the past 15 years.

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