Nationals senator Matt Canavan says regional voices are "failing to be heard" over a "din of loud Australians" while warning of a growing political divide between inner city-living and the bush.
The federal cabinet minister told the Sydney Institute on Tuesday night that "agreeing to disagree on the smaller, local things" would make a "stronger and more united nation on the bigger things".
He warned a "busybody approach" to modern politics, where groups such as the Stop Adani convoy, took on a "moral burden to fix the problems of others", was threatening the strength of the nation's democracy.
The federal resources minister, who attracted criticism from some within his own ranks for his pro-coal advocacy during the election, encouraged protest groups to visit a place before they "denounce the practices of a whole region as evil".
"In a country as a large as ours there will always be different priorities in different parts of the country," Senator Canavan said on Tuesday night.
"The priorities of Armidale will be different from those of Artarmon. The priorities of Muswellbrook will be different from those of Mosman, and the priorities of Dubbo will be different than those of Drummoyne."
He said that did not make their priorities "better or worse" but said all Australians deserved to have their issues taken up by governments, no matter whether they live.
Senator Canavan said Australians must work harder to remove "some of the poison affecting modern democracies" around the world.
"We should respect the different views and desires that will manifest in different parts of our country," he said.
He pointed to Queensland recording the strongest result for the Morrison government, with 58.4 per cent of the two-party vote and a 4.3 per cent swing to the Coalition.
We should respect the different views and desires that will manifest in different parts of our country.Senator Matt Canavan
"If not for Queensland, the LNP would have lost the popular vote, albeit only just," he said.
"The result was just as stark, however, if you break the country into other regions. The Labor Party won the metro areas of the country with 52.6 per cent of the two party preferred vote but lost the regional areas with only 43 per cent of the vote."
He said policies on coal mines, dams, tax policies or even health and education should not be "fundamental matters that bind a nation" but rather the principles of representative democracy, equality before the law and a fair go.
He warned the "Bob Brown effect" was frustrating regional communities, where towns were growing tired of having "self-appointed, self-important bureaucrats" run the ruler over what they can and can't do.
"Whether it is what trees they can chop down, what seafood they can fish, what dams they can build and what mines they can start," he said.
"The power to do simple things has shifted from those on the ground with the knowledge, history and interest, to those who live far away who know little of the local circumstances and suffer even less the effects of any mistakes that are made."
- SMH/The Age