The new focus on Rural and regional Australia (R&RA) in the current  parliament has great merit in ways hard to quantify.

The nature of “Brand Australia”, how we see ourselves,  has always been about the wide brown land, the sunburnt country, the Akubra hatted drover gazing into the sunset, however much that sense is a myth, given the urban nature  of the population, it nevertheless defined us.

Over the last 50 years a steady erosion of the rural population has occurred, and an erosion of the support infrastructure has followed, schools, hospitals, communities with insufficient size to be sustainable, coupled with the levels of immigrants who have no connection to the myth, and this has had, and will inevitably continue to have an impact on the psyche of the country.

How you put a value on this Australian psyche I have no idea, but I hope that the independents last long enough to make an impact that lasts, and that they do not become subsumed in the Canberra Politic” as I am sure that the value they can add to the sense of who we are will be greater than anything treasury can put a figure on.