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The impacts of deregulation and agricultural restructuring for rural Australia
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-16, 13:29 authored by Vanclay, FM
As a leader in the Cairns Group of Nations, Australia has been advancing deregulation in agri-food trade. Successive governments have assumed that Australia would benefit from a greater deregulation of international trade because this would allow increased access to world markets for primary agricultural commodities. But regulation exists, at least in Europe, to protect the social value of the rural landscape. Australian governments, strongly influenced by economic rationalist ideology, have given insufficient consideration to the rural social landscape. Little critical reflection has taken place about whether Australia, and its farmers, would actually benefitftom deregulation, or what the social impacts of this trend might be. Deregulation inevitably invokes structural adjustment, forces farmers out of agriculture, depopulates rural areas, and creates social hardship. Them are also environmental ramifications. The exit of farmers from agriculture has not been as fast as was expected by economists and policy-makers, with many farmers adapting to new situations.
Publication titleAustralian Journal of Social Issues
Department/SchoolTasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)
PublisherAustralian Council Social Service Inc
Place of publicationStrawberry Hills, Australia