NO WHINGERS: The Central Highlands Community Transport Reference Group meets to find solutions and members say they aren’t in the business of whinging or looking for handouts.
NO WHINGERS: The Central Highlands Community Transport Reference Group meets to find solutions and members say they aren’t in the business of whinging or looking for handouts. Kelly Butterworth

Emerald locals prove rural communities are not whingers

ARE we a pack of whingers?

According to Miller Communications Group's Mark Miller, that's what the coastal communities think of us.

Mr Miller said regional and rural communities are becoming less popular because of "the perception across the larger eastern seaboard communities that rural Australia whinges and simply looks for handouts".

Christine Rolfe, a rural landholder and spokeswoman through her roles in AgForce and the National Farmers Federation said whinging wasn't part of the rural nature.

"We don't whinge, we get on with life and, even though we struggle with droughts and all the rest, we just make do," she said.

"We have more than just ourselves to look out for out here, you get out here and we look after each other and deal with whatever is happening on our own."

Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Peter Maguire said, maybe the people who think we are after handouts should "come and live here for a bit".

"We happen to love living out here, we don't whine about things," Cr Maguire said.

"We pay our taxes and our registrations, we drive on sub-standard roads and we are hard-working people who don't complain about everything.

"We don't walk around with glum looks on our faces like they do down south, they can't come and bag us out and say we're whining, maybe they should spend some time out here and really see what our communities are like."

Mrs Rolfe said it was hard to be blamed for expecting handouts when there were none.

"I spoke to Barnaby Joyce on Monday and he said there isn't any money for handouts; how can they say that is what we look for when we know fully well there isn't any, we deal with our problems on our own, with our communities," she said.

"I think these people need to realise that we're not a separate state, we're all in this together, we go to the coast and spend our money on their apartments and their restaurants."

Mr Miller, who published the belief, said our "city cousins now see us as whingers rather than the backbone".

"I just think that if you stroll down Queen Street Mall in Brisbane, you wouldn't have to look far to find someone saying that rural Australians are either whinging because it's raining or because it isn't," he said.

And Mr Miller said it would take a lot of work to change these opinions.

Mrs Rolfe, however, said it would not take much at all to change the opinions.

"Come and spend some time out here, look at our small communities where we all look after each other," she said.

"We are far more community-minded than a lot of the cities and suburbs.

"We have a better lifestyle, we're business people, everyone is out here really.

She said the communities were great and everyone helped out.

"We have great communities, with great people, the mining companies are chipping in and helping out the communities," she said.

"What are we meant to be whinging about?"

Mr Maguire said it was hard to encourage people to live here when there were stereotypes slotting rural and regional Queenslanders into the "whiners" bin.

"We should be encouraging people, showing them how great it is out here, but it can be hard when this is around," he said.

"Before anyone should bag us, or criticise us, they need to come out here and live with us. We're pretty good people here.

Mr Miller, who lives in Redland near Brisbane, said he had spent a lot of time in the regions.

"If you drive into a town like Emerald and you've come through two hours of scrub it's quite an eye-opener to see how communities work together," he said.

"It's a difficult task for governments on all levels to manage and equip rural communities because there is such diversity in industry, in the geography...

"I think your communities ought to be congratulated on forming collaborative approaches."





Mark Davis: If it wasn't for the rural population, city people wouldn't have steak, vegies, or clothes for that matter. I hear these comment from coastal/city folk regularly.... "It's too hot and dry. It's a long way to the beach. The fuel prices are crazy here. How do you people handle living like this?"

Kane Newton: nothing comes from the city it's all rural.

Jules McGrath: The irony is most costal residents wouldn't last a week out here.

Debra Murray: Come and visit and see what it is really like. We visit the coast and cities and have a much better understanding of Australia's diversity.

Nette Gillies: We are ALL Whingers! We just have different things to whinge about!

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