The Rural Pulse

by Mhairi Kubko


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The Rural Pulse is a bi-annual study conducted by Newspoll together with Redhanded Creative that seeks to measure, track and understand the differences between metro and rural Australians.

Headline results from the November – December wave include:


Rural people more connected: Nearly 9 in 10 rural people (88%) feel well connected to their local community compared with 6 out of 10 metro people.

Rural people less contented: Nearly 80% of metro people agreed that they were contented compared with 73% for rural people.

Biggest challenges faced by farmers: Finances (53%), environment (50%), price (34%) and government (23%).

Biggest opportunities faced by farmers: Expanding markets (16%), improved farming practices (12%) and healthy lifestyle (11%)

Impact on the right to farm: Sixty-eight percent of farmers thought that the right to farm was being eroded and had made it more difficult to farm compared with 5-10 years ago. Main issues impacting the right to farm were government regulations and policies (76%) and negative publicity about farming issues (74%).

Technology a helping hand: Over two-thirds of farmers (70%) thought that technology was changing the way they farmed for the better.

Supermarkets a killer: One in two farmers believed there was a lack of competition for the purchase of their product and nearly 90% of those farmers believed that a lack of competition among supermarkets was hurting farmers.

Other major concerns: Two-thirds of farmers believed it was cheaper and easier for city people to borrow money compared with rural people and 68% of farmers were concerned about the decline of rural populations.


Link to The Rural Pulse publication:

Rural Sample: Conducted over the telephone among a sample of 441 rural farmers over the period of November - December 2012.
Metro Sample: Conducted over the telephone among a sample of 394 full-time or part-time workers, 18 years of age and over in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, over the period of November - December 2012.


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