Local Issues

HAVE YOUR SAY ON GOVERNMENT DECENTRALISATION PLANS

Gippslanders can have their say on government decentralisation as part of a Senate inquiry into moving jobs to regional areas.

Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is asking locals to contact him with their views on how to create more jobs in regional areas, by having more government agencies based outside the cities.

The feedback will be included in a Senate inquiry into the effectiveness and consequences of relocating corporate Commonwealth entities.Mr Chester said Gippsland already had successful examples of decentralisation and he wanted to see this continue.

“Traralgon is home to the Australian Security and Investments Commission (ASIC) Business Registry, and the Department of Human Services’ Latrobe Smart Centre,” Mr Chester said.

“The RAAF Base East Sale is another example of a large, government organisation successfully establishing itself in a regional setting.

“I want to see more government jobs allocated to regional areas, where people can enjoy the benefits of a regional lifestyle, while also easing pressure on population growth in metropolitan areas.”

Mr Chester said there was support for decentralisation in regional areas as a way of diversifying the economy.

“Particularly with the challenges we face in the Latrobe Valley due to the impending closure of Hazelwood, it’s important we look at all avenues of bringing in more jobs to our region,” Mr Chester said.

“The recent Latrobe City Council ‘Community Conversations’ also identified decentralisation of state and federal government departments as an idea they wanted pursued.”

Mr Chester said The Nationals were strong advocates within Government for more decentralisation, and did not want city-centric views to dominate the debate.

“Every Council, Chamber of Commerce, CWA and community association should have their say in the new Senate Inquiry into decentralisation,” Mr Chester said.

“It’s time to tell the city-based Labor and Greens why regional Australia deserves Commonwealth and State agencies bringing well-paid, skilled jobs to our area.”

Mr Chester said The Nationals as part of the Coalition Government had already implemented policies to make decentralisation more feasible, including a faster rollout of the NBN and better mobile phone coverage.

He said better investment in infrastructure, including improved road and rail, was another way to make regional areas more attractive places to live.

Submissions can be made to Mr Chester directly, at PO Box 486 Sale VIC 3850, or via email, darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au

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