Information about work, life and play in Regional Australia

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Bush Telegraph

Presented by Michael Mackenzie, ABC Radio's Bush Telegraph is one of my favourite radio programs, providing an entertaining look at rural and regional issues around Australia.

Broadcast Monday to Friday between 11am and 12 noon each day Bush Telegraph takes an in-depth look at what makes life outside our capital cities so unique. The ABC's far-flung rural reporters take us with them as they experience life in rural and regional Australia - on farms, in towns and in the bush, and we hear first hand from the people who live there.

On Fridays the program explores the fascinating world of food, from the way we grow it to the final pleasure of eating, and all the delicious bits in between.Each day Country Viewpoint offers a unique social commentary from people who live outside the capital cities. And for those who want to keep up with the Rural News, there is a daily look at the news headlines.

I really do enjoy this program, although it suffers from the problem I referred to in Regional Australia - the diversity of regional experience, the difficulty of properly covering such a vast canvass.

I get frustrated sometimes because I know its focus on particular stories such as water and drought leaves the impression in metro minds that all of regional Australia suffers from lack of water.

Yes, Australia is a dry continent. But the reality is far more complex because not all of Australia suffers from water shortages. Metro dwellers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth are all experiencing water restrictions, as are some regional areas. Yet other regional areas have water coming out of their ears. Further, water shortages vary over time.

Our biggest problem is that over 70 per cent of the Australian population is concentrated in a narrow eastern coastal strip with just 17 per cent of the water.

Those outside Radio National radio range can listen to the program on-line.

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