01 March 2017
The Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton has urged regional Australians to have their say on plans to decentralise more government offices and agencies to country Australia as part of The Nationals plan to boost job opportunities in the bush.
Launching the new Get out of the City Campaign (getoutofthecity.com.au), which aims to drive submissions from country Australia to a new Senate inquiry into decentralising government offices and agencies, Mr Coulton said this was vital chance for regional Australians to be heard by city-based Labor politicians.
“Submissions close next Friday (March 10) and our regional communities must have their say because this Senate Inquiry was initiated to kill off relocating Commonwealth jobs in regional centres,” he said.
“Every public service job in a regional town flows through the community and means more money for the local coffee shop, to the local mechanic, implores doctors to move there, schools to grow, and helps to deliver better transport services.
“Regional Australia deserves its fair share of government services and opportunities; and that includes being able to access quality public sector careers just as much as any capital city.
“Today, we ask you to add your voice in support of decentralisation. Regional Australia deserves well-paid, skilled jobs. It deserves Centres of Excellence to be established to create knowledge hubs which continue to attract and grow those jobs.
“Technology and modern communication gives us the opportunity to reshape our vibrant regional communities; more government functions can be delivered from across Australia and no longer have to be centralised in the Canberra and other capital cities.”
Country Women’s Association of NSW President Annette Turner backed the campaign.
“The Country Women’s Association of New South Wales is committed to supporting the growth of rural and regional communities and we believe decentralisation can contribute to this by boosting employment and economic growth,” Ms Turner said.
“We encourage every Australian living in a rural or regional area to have their say on decentralisation. Make your opinion count and please have a say on this important issue.”
Mr Coulton said the Labor Party was trying to put a stop to decentralisation: trying to put a stop to moving some government departments from the capital cities to the regions.
Mr Coulton called on the community in the Parkes Electorate to support:
1. The Nationals’ policies to decentralise more government agencies and functions from capital cities to the regions;
2. Calls for the senate inquiry to hold meetings in regional areas to hear firsthand from local communities;
3. Regional Australia getting fair access to public service careers;
4. Decentralisation of government services as a huge driver of downstream jobs in regional and rural towns;
5. Decentralisation as essential to growing a skilled workforce in regional areas for our children and grandchildren as well as for businesses, families and investors.