Contrasting Perspectives

Contrasting Perspectives

Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsCampbell, CAndrew
Conference Nameyoung countries in old landscapes and old countries in young landscapes
Conference LocationCanberra
Keywordsaustralia, External, land use systems, landscapes, policy, rural

Contemporary Australia is a young country in a vast ancient continent. Our land use systems are derived from Europe, from old countries farming in young landscapes. Australian agriculture has been imposed upon Australian rural landscapes, with ongoing ecological consequences extraordinary in their scale and speed. In contrast, European landscapes have evolved with their agricultural systems at a gentler pace
over a longer period. The rural vistas of modern Europe are manifestly man-made. Landscapes are socially constructed. The landscapes we see and in which we live are the net aggregate and cumulative product of evolving human values and policies, which in turn inform collective and individual decisions and actions. This paper explores the social construction of rural landscapes in Australia, with
reference to contrasting ecological, political and cultural contexts in Western Europe. Perceptions of rurality, and their manifestation in policy and practice, contrast accordingly. European experience suggests that, as modern agriculture develops more intensive, industrial and vertically integrated production, there is a complementary trend towards diversification and extensification, where rural landscapes are valued as arenas of consumption (of landscapes and lifestyles and non-urban experiences) as well as, or even rather than, as engines of food and fibre production. The relevance of such concepts in the Australian context is explored, concluding with
prognoses for future rural landscapes and rural policy in Australia.


Citation and export

Campbell, C. Andrew. Contrasting Perspectives. young countries in old landscapes and old countries in young landscapes (1999).

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