My main post today, Dreams past: Collective Wisdom, education & the NBN, is on my personal blog. It is, as the title suggests, a memory of time's past.
In that post, I refer to a bid for funding under the the Commonwealth Government's Cooperative Multimedia Centre's program. There were five NSW contenders - two from Sydney, one each from Armidale, Lismore and Bathurst. I still remember how hard it was to get any interest out of Sydney at official level.
Straight after the demonstration I refer to in my post, I left for Sydney to join my family. Later that year, one of my colleagues asked me to put forward nominations for people that might go onto the State Government's Information Industries Board. Based on my knowledge, I put forward a number of non-metro suggestions. They were all knocked back by the Department of State Development on the grounds that they weren't in Sydney, that they needed Sydney people because it made working easier.
One of the reasons why I sometimes despair is that the entrenched barriers that we have to work against to get effective Northern development are just so great. When I was a kid I thought that it was conscious neglect. That can happen, but what actually makes it so hard is that we are dealing with structures set up in such a way as to encourage neglect, to work against real change.
People aren't dumb or uncaring, they just don't see it. They go with what's easy or efficient at the time. To do otherwise requires a conscious act to break out, to see in different ways. There is really no incentive or even mechanism that will allow them to do this.
A lot of my readers will agree with me, I think, that self-government is the final answer. But we also have to deal with the now. And that won't change until change is forced.