Photo Caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton with Roger Fletcher of Fletcher International Exports.
Bringing a piece of Parkes to Parliament
I took the opportunity to speak in Parliament last week, sharing local examples of how regional Australia is the engine room driving our national recovery from COVID-19.
I highlighted stories of successful businesses in the Parkes electorate including Dubbo City Toyota, as well as businesswoman Kerrieanne Nichols and leading ag exporter Roger Fletcher, each illustrating how hard work and vision pays dividends to entire communities.
I addressed the fact that we cannot afford to stand in the way of the economic activity generated by businesses like Roger’s.
Industrial action at the ports is ongoing and far from resolution. Stoppages and go slows at our ports pose a real threat to the connections between Australian businesses and their customers, and more importantly, the security of jobs of Australians throughout supply chains. Ultimately, it puts at risk our COVID-recovery.
Just like we need our ports to operate efficiently, the Nationals want to keep out of the way of business. We know that when business is left to get on with business, then job opportunities will follow, by removing red tape and cutting tax.
Opportunities abound in regional Australia
As we emerge from COVID-19, it’s clear rural and regional areas are key to Australia’s success and recovery. The foundations have always been there, the performance was already strong, and in the context of COVID-19, the cities are turning their attention west of the ‘Great Divide’.
The regions are full of enterprise, full of opportunity, backed by great resources, and poised to get back to business. The challenges of floods, fires and drought have served to nurture the resilience and grit for which regional Australia is renowned.
Jobs in regional areas are plentiful – the urgency to find seasonal workers to help with harvest has been well documented. This downplays the diversity and complexity of our economies in regional Australia. We need people in health care, supermarket managers, council workers, civil engineers: the list goes on and on.
The Regional Australia Institute estimates over 45,000 job vacancies in the regions: between July and August vacancies are thought to have risen by 14 per cent. Unemployment in parts of central NSW is said to be below two per cent.
Regional Australia offers real opportunity, a great lifestyle, and an excellent environment to raise a family. COVID-19 has shown that regional areas are a real option and businesses in the Parkes electorate are waiting with open arms for those who want to give it a go.
Preserving wartime heritage
Well done to Trangie United Services Memorial Club and Sunset Strip Progress Association, which have received grants for projects that will preserve our local wartime heritage.
This funding will help to ensure the local community continues to remember and understand the sacrifice made by Australian service men and women during wartime, particularly the next generation.
The Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program is a rolling grants program designed to preserve Australia’s wartime heritage and involve people in a wide range of projects and activities that highlight the service and sacrifice of Australia’s servicemen and women in wars, conflicts and peace operations.
It’s timely news, with Remembrance Day next week, on 11 November.
The Parkes electorate has a proud military history and I congratulate the groups working to honour those who have served our country.