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Title: Grain Drain: The Impacts of Changing Infrastructure and Marketing on the Wheat Landscape of Northern New South Wales
Contributor(s): Fisher, Darrell Graeme (author); Argent, Neil  (supervisor)orcid ; Walmsley, Dennis (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2009
Copyright Date: 2009
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Market accessibility has always been a driving force in the development of the wheat landscape in northern NSW. As the wheat frontier moved north and west from the coast through the tablelands to establish on the western slopes and plains, it was the accompanying changes in transport and storage infrastructure that played a major role in this development. In the early years of poorly developed transport routes, local markets flourished and flour mills mushroomed. With the improvements in transport infrastructure, however, a local monopoly situation gave way to competition from elswhere and the local wheat landscape faded away in favour of other activities which had a local comparative advantage. This is the story of the Northern Tablelands, where improved rail access and its extension to the north-west, led to the local demise of the wheat and flour industry and its growth in the north-west. Globalisation, coupled with the deregulation of the State owned rail network and wheat marketing arrangements in recent years has led to dramatic ramifications for the wheat landscape in northern NSW. The problems faced by Australian Wheat Board (AWB) single desk export marketing following the Iraq scandal and the deregulation of domestic wheat marketing arrangements has led to changes in the grain supply chain. With the growth of feedlots and the potential growth in the biofuel industry, there has been a decline in the use of rail and its associated line-side silos in favour of on-farm storage and road transport. These changes have had flow-on effects for the local communities established as centres servicing the surrounding district and forming an integral part of the wheat landscape. The growth in on-farm storage and increasing use of road transport has seen the demise of both the railnet serving the communities and the line-side silos that have served as icons of the wheat landscape. The impacts of the closure of the grain line and silo infrastructure on these service communities have been enormous while the impacts on the farming enterprises have resulted in adaptation to these altered conditions and to sweeping changes to the rural landscape.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 160499 Human Geography not elsewhere classified
Rights Statement: Copyright 2009 - Darrell Graeme Fisher
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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Thesis Doctoral

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