O'Brien welcomes bureaucratic attention on regions
FEDERAL Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien has welcomed the attention bureaucrats in Canberra are now paying to regional Australia.
The Productivity Commission will carry out a 12-month study into the geographic impacts of the transition of the Australian economy following the resources investment boom.
An initial report will be submitted by April of this year. Public submissions need to be made by February 15.
Mr O'Brien said he expected the report to identify the need for greater investments in infrastructure, employment programs, and better health and education services to improve opportunities for regional Australians.
"The Coalition Government is already addressing these through our $20 million Wide Bay Burnett Jobs Package, our $6.7 billion investment to fix the Bruce Highway, and record funding for health and education,” Mr O'Brien said.
"I'm fighting to ensure Wide Bay secures its fair share.”
Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce has said he "hopes the Productivity Commission shoots a few sacred cows, for instance - should frogs stop the development of dams in regional Australia?”
"The Nationals have been driving an agenda to empower the regions, which are the engine room of the Australian economy.”
Minister Fiona Nash, Deputy Leader of the Nationals, said Australia's cities exist because of the regions.
"Regional Australia is responsible for 67% of our exports, 45% of domestic tourism, most production of food and all production of the gas and electricity which powers powers city households,” she said.