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The National Farmers Federation has this week released the findings of a recent report into where the Outback officially starts.
NFF President Fiona Simson says the ‘DIVERSITY OF REMOTENESS’ report was commissioned with the aim of advising legislators and bureaucrats in the different needs and characteristics of rural Australia.
“We want to crush the myth that anywhere west of West End is just a homogenous blur of canned beer and flyblown sheep” said Simson.
“Rural Australia is not as a one size fits all. There are differences between highlands, tablelands, basins and mountains”
“The culture changes between towns, as does the religion, sports and local past times”
The NFF says that the Outback is horribly represented in Canberra, with the complacence of both major parties who think a man who owns an Akubra is good enough to speak for all rural Australians.
“The number one aim of this report was to identify where the countryside ends and the back country starts. For too long our busted cockies have had to rely on the decisions made by puffy jacket accountants who grew up on soil that you could eat”
“Some of these blokes basically grew up out the back of Nimbin. They know about as much about the Outback as the Sydney Morning Herald.”
“Heading into an election, we need everyone to realise that regional does not always mean rural.”
Debates have raged for centuries over where the official line is between the bush and the Outback.
Historically, Queenslanders have generally put it down to where the dirt starts looking red about an hour west of Roma.
Down in New South, the rule of thumb is that the Outback starts the moment you start seeing opal rocks in the gift shops.
However, the NFF report has today ruled that the official line between these two types of country can only be decided by a pub menu.
“If a pub has the moral backbone to serve crumbed steak, then you are in the Outback. That’s what this reported has found” said Simson.
“It doesn’t matter how hot the bitumen is, it doesn’t matter how red the dirt is. It doesn’t matter if the pub has those funny cartoons of sheep and trees on the wall.”
“If there’s no crumbed steak, you may as well be in Maleny”