With a relatively high proportion of the population living outside of major cities and towns, in outer regional or remote areas (see chart above based on ABS data), Queensland faces an additional challenge in delivering government services such as health and education. Delivering services to rural and remote areas will obviously be more expensive, given the lack of economies of scale associated with service delivery in urban areas. But governments are finding ways to deliver services more cost-effectively in rural and remote locations, including through the use of web-based distance education and tele-health.
The Queensland Branch of the Economic Society of Australia, of which I’m Deputy Secretary, is very pleased to have one of the leading consultants in Australia on the economics of rural and remote service delivery, Dr Abby Kamalakanthan, speaking at an upcoming seminar in Brisbane on Friday, 7 November. If you are interested in how we can continue to deliver government services in a sustainable, cost-effective manner in rural and remote areas, I would encourage you to attend Abby’s presentation. Details are available at the ESA Qld website:
(N.B. I left Tasmania off the above chart because a very large chunk of it is considered outer regional and including it took attention away from the large differences between Queensland and NSW and Victoria that I wanted to highlight.)