Neil Barr: Social transition – for richer for poorer

Keynote presenter: Neil Barr

Organisation: Department of Primary Industries

Keynote presentation: pdf Social transition – for richer for poorer [PDF 3.38mb]


The structure of the farm sector and rural communities has changed over the past 20 years. This presentation will include a look at some data from the past 6 population censuses, 20 years of agricultural censuses and 15 years of land transaction data. The geographic focus will be the basalt plains of SW Victoria. I’ll go through the forces behind those changes. Then I’ll look ahead to what the forces of change might be in the next 10 years and muse on which of the past changes we can expect to continue and what new might be around the corner. In this discussion we’ll look at the terms of trade, gender roles and the food value chain, the demographic transition of the baby boomers and migration policy, housing challenges in our major cities, changing climate and the impact of a prolonged mining boom.