The focus on encouraging population growth in inland Australia has been largely unsuccessful, and the existing decentralisation is primarily due to the market forces, particularly in Sydney where house prices and rentals discourage urban residence. While the rise of small coastal towns quickly came to typify Australia, long-distance commuting was rare other than in such exceptional cases as the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. In many western countries similar affluence and improved transport brought the expansion of commuting significantly beyond suburbia to villages and towns removed from the metropolitan centres. While elite publications belatedly focused on inland Australia, Australia's population remained thoroughly coastal, whether in expanding cities or coastal growth areas. In Australia counter-urbanisation was similarly regarded as a rejection of oppressive urban life, enabled by lower housing costs. Elitism is retained in a vision of Australian townships that excludes not merely the relatively remote but a host of places.