Town Vs Country

For a long time I have wondered about the degree of animosity that exists between the Australian city people and the Australian country people. I’ve watched it develop since 1967.

As a migrant to Australia in 1964 I saw little of the country areas…that waited until I was at University in 1967 and could take a motor trip down to the southwest of the state with three other students. We stayed at country pubs and ate at country cafės along the way. And encountered a mean and bigoted treatment on a number of occasions.

This was echoed on interstate road trips during the following decades. There was country hospitality sold at the larger towns but it was as well not to seek it from smaller communities.

Then the southwest of our state opened itself up to tourism in a big way, creating a region of attractions, even where there were none. Plant a vineyard or open up a beer hall and at least you could count on the drunks spending cash. Add pottery barns and tourist coffee shops and you could milk the travellers all year round. Come on down…

But when the state closed for Covid…then opened up…then closed for a weekend…the welcome mat seems to have been pulled in and out. Oh, it still exists for the money that tourism can bring, but the problems of possible infection mean that the tourist as such is undesireable. I fear the small window of country hospitality that opened is going to slam shut.

I wonder if there will also be closed doors here in the city? I should regret seeing a Parisian/provinces attitude take root in Western Australia as it once did in France. No-one grows within that sort of culture.

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