Rural Adjustment Schemes: Juggling Politics, Welfare and Markets

Geoff Cockfield, Linda Botterill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The Commonwealth government has offered support to farmers in the form of structural or business adjustment‐type schemes since the Loan (Farmers Debt Adjustment) Acts of 1935–1971. Since 1971, a series of more comprehensive rural reconstruction/adjustment schemes with a range of objectives from debt alleviation to encouraging some exits from agricultural industries, has been in place. While having little direct impact on the structure of these industries, the various schemes have been politically important and an indicator of how core values relating to agricultural production and rural life have changed. A review of the schemes shows an increasing focus on improving farm productivity and sustainability, accompanied by a discourse emphasising the need to promote the ‘farm business’, rather than to protect the ‘family farm’. On the other hand, governments have also used these schemes to deliver ‘welfare’ outputs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-82
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Journal of Public Administration
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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