Get out of the city and listen, Senate Inquiry told
9 March 2017
- Nearly 800 submissions demand Senate Inquiry into decentralisation holds hearings in the bush;
- Less than 48 hours remain to convince Senators to listen to regional Australians and hold regional hearings;
- Offices established for three agricultural agency relocations in six regional areas, decentralisation update shows.
A Senate Inquiry has so far received nearly 800 submissions demanding that it holds hearings in regional Australia to learn the benefits of decentralisation first-hand.
Leader of The Nationals and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said it was imperative the Inquiry held hearings in the bush or risked only getting the views of Canberra-based bureaucrats.
"Regional Australia has spoken, with 48 hours before submissions close, nearly 800 individuals and organisations across the country have called for regional hearings," he said.
"Regional towns are sick of this city-centric focus that Bill Shorten and Labor are demanding be implemented.
"The towns regional Australians live in and love deserve public sector jobs and career paths as much as the cities."
Mr Joyce has urged regional communities to have their say on www.getoutofthecity.com.au before submissions close to the Senate inquiry on Friday.
"We have less than 48 hours to convince Senators that it must listen to regional Australians– not just Canberra bureaucrats – about government jobs being moved to country towns," Minister Joyce said.
"I'm working on moving agricultural government agencies to where boots hit the dirt in our bush centres but that's only the start."
Mr Joyce made the call while handing down a decentralisation update for his portfolio, where offices had been established for three agricultural Research and Development Corporations, including a Fisheries RDC in Adelaide, Grains RDC in Toowoomba, Dubbo, Perth and Adelaide, and Rural Industries RDC in Wagga Wagga six months ahead of schedule.
Planning is underway to relocate the Murray-Darling Basin Authority following many regional engagement meetings, while the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority is also on track to open an office in Armidale later this month.