A few things to remember in considering the examples I will be citing:
- The broader new England does have its own identity and geographic validity. But because we don't exist, no statistics are collected, we don't appear as an entity in policy making.
- In economic and geographic terms, New England is being ripped apart by the growth of the South-east Queensland conurbation in the north, the growth of Sydney and Canberra with its spillover affects in the south.
- The definitions used for policy making and statistical terms, regional is an example, act to smash our attempts to create identity and to overcome long term structural decline.
- The longer this process goes on, the harder it is to recover.
When you look at the Commonwealth Government's regional university initiative, it is concentrated in the outer metro rim and South Eastern NSW. There is almost nothing for New England.
When you look at the the NSW Government's regional development and tourism strategies, they have a bias towards Southern NSW.
When you consider the discussion on infrastructure, the focus is on metros or links between the metros. There is very little that will benefit New England
When you consider the new discussion on migration and decentralisation policy, not only is there little recognition of the history decentralisation policy, but the discussion focuses on growing the metro rim to abosrb more people. They talk about state based migration policies, but that won't help us because me have no state. The question of achieving better population balance within New England does not come up because New England does not exist.
While I have been absorbed on other things, the policy discussion has taken off in ways that will leave us worse off.