More than 18,000 people live in the most densely populated part of Australia, the one kilometre square surrounding Haymarket and Ultimo in Sydney.
The former Palerang local government area spanned more than 5000 square kilometres, with a population just pipping 15,000.
For those living in Haymarket, amenity is at their fingertips. Central Sydney has thousands of shops, an extensive public transport networks and dozens of public service facilities.
In Braidwood, we make do with less.
When we step off the bustle of Wallace Street, we see the inferior footpaths and rough, unsealed roads.
People live in rural areas for many reasons. Some always have, some have moved away from the pace of the city, and many for work or relationships.
For many younger families, housing affordability also plays a part in moving to a rural area
For those of us who have grown up in a city, we take the facilities that come with population for granted.
Public transport, unusual goods at your disposal, even footpaths, are all sustained by the greater population in urban areas.
If we’ve made a choice to live in a sparsely populated area, can we expect the same services as a city? Probably not, it’s just impossible.
If we’ve made our bed, then, do we have to lie in it? Maybe not, as things are changing.
Skyrocketing house prices in the capital cities are a big opportunity for rural communities. The next 20 years could well see a re-invigoration and rejuvenation of rural communities, as people are priced out of city living.
It’s time to welcome change for good.