AUSTRALIA is a divided country when it comes to the living standards of its people.
While most city dwellers might be relatively well off in the current economic climate, venture into many parts of regional Australia and the picture is quite different.
Contrary to the generalisations in some city media, farmers are not all rejoicing as a result of drought-breaking rains.
Even in the areas where good rains have fallen in recent months, there are other factors at work which are squeezing the rural and regional economies.
The Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission has rightly highlighted the suffering that is still occurring in these parts of Australia.
Australia desperately needs a comprehensive regional development policy which will ensure the economic survival of many of these struggling areas.
Without one, the disparity among Australians will only become worse.