Increasingly we read of locals blaming the apparent upsurge in crime and anti-social behaviour in regional and remote areas on the lack of employment opportunities.
Someone has to point out that this has always been the case and it will only get worse. No company, especially those who wish to sell overseas, is going to set up a substantial operation in a remote location.
Transport costs alone will cut into any acceptable profit margin and Australia has long priced itself out of the unskilled and semi-skilled labour market with an employer having to pay, with on costs of $25 per hour for an unskilled worker.
The hourly wage cost in countries like Thailand, South Africa and Brazil is only twenty per cent of this.
The Macleay is very lucky to have long established and community supportive companies such as Akubra and Nestle.
In 1962 over 80 per cent of students who finished the Leaving or Intermediate certificates had to move to the cities to pursue a career, either to Sydney or the heavy industry cities of Newcastle and Wollongong. This exodus of youth from the Macleay had been a fact at least a decade before 1962. Leaving loving families and childhood friends was no less traumatic then as it would be now but within a couple of months one tended to "get over it". So I guess the message is, for those young people who seriously want to find meaningful employment, gird the loins, bite the bullet and move to where the opportunities present themselves. If, for whatever reason , it doesn't work out at least you've broken the nexus.