A large part of this continent is increasingly neglected and, for a significant number of our rural people, governance is weak and intangible...Government is receding from the country to what I describe as pockets of indulgence and indifference in the southeast and southwest corners. Over the past three or four decades, possibly as a consequence of market forces, we have seen a steady withdrawal of the presence of both the public and the private sector from the remote regions of the continent.
Some of this is in code (eg for "significant number of our rural people" read aboriginals) but, as a regular traveller to some of the regions he mentions, I agree that the matter should be raised and debated. The government is always banging on, often with good reason, about Australia's security, yet doesn't seem to realise that it is important to secure our own territory. Weak and intangible governance throughout much of inland and northern Australia is a major security risk.
PS Today another report Dropping Off The Edge: the distribution of disadvantage in Australia has been released. It identifies the most disadvantaged areas in Australia, several of which eg East Kimberley (WA) and Anangu Pitjantjatjara Lands (SA), meet Mr Sanderson's criteria.(Today's Australian has a story about this on p3 but once again it's not online).