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chapterposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Robert KelsoRobert Kelso
The effects of isolation from government, its agents, and their services often attributed to the 'tyranny of distance' (Blainey, 1982) - have been a seminal influence upon our national development and character. One related theme has been that while governments of all political persuasions have been attentive to the major metropolitan centres, in particular, the Australian Capital Territory and the state capitals, 'the bush' has been relatively ignored. This sentiment is evident in parts of rural Queensland, where some centres are more than 2000 kilometres from the state capital, Brisbane. Following a change of government in 1989, the implementation of one vote one value left many isolated communities feeling as though they were powerless to demand a response from governments. The competing aspirations of non-metropolitan communities and the government motivated by the 'rational' virtues of economy and efficiency, clashed in spectacular fashion as the high cost of service provision was used to justify the closure of government facilities.