10/02/2017

Senate inquiry to examine decentralisation to move jobs to regions

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien, today said local people can have their say about the new jobs, benefits and economic opportunities that decentralisation of Government agencies would bring to regional communities, through a new Senate inquiry into moving Commonwealth jobs to the regions.

 

“We live in a big country and there’s no reason, particularly with the improvements to telecommunications and transport networks, why government agencies should only be located in Canberra and the capital cities,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee will hold an inquiry into the operation, effectiveness and consequences of relocating corporate Commonwealth entities, as well as the economic, environmental and capability implications of shifting agencies to the regions.

“With the roll out of the nbn and upgrades to the Bruce Highway progressing, the Wide Bay is better connected to Brisbane and beyond.  Together with affordable housing and a lower cost of living, I believe our region is an ideal place in which Government agencies and departments could be located.

“Why should tens of thousands of public servants be holed up in crammed apartments in Canberra and capital cities, when our regions offer better housing and a better quality of life?

“Decentralisation delivers benefits to both taxpayers and families, as the cost of regional office facilities saves taxpayers millions of dollars in rent, and moving jobs to regional towns offers people more affordable housing and a better environment to live and raise a family,” Mr O’Brien said.

“To every town that has ever wanted to attract Government jobs to help sustain economic growth and return a fairer share back to the regions, I say now is the time to make your voice heard.  Every Council, Chamber of Commerce, CWA and community association in every regional town is invited to make a submission to this inquiry, to tell Canberra why regional Australia deserves Commonwealth agencies bringing well-paid, skilled jobs to their area. 

“We can not afford to pass up this opportunity to tell the story about the great opportunities offered in our regions,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Liberal Nationals Coalition believe in decentralisation which spreads more job opportunities across Australia.  Decentralisation and the jobs that go with it lead to greater local investment and economic multipliers, creating even more jobs to strengthen and sustain the regional economy.

“Australia’s wealth is created in the regions so it’s only fair that our regions get their fair share of that wealth returned to them.  After all, regional Australia supplies the water, food, and electricity which powers our cities.

“This inquiry will also examine how decentralised entities will perform their functions operating outside of a major city, or the nation’s capital.

“I urge every interested party in to have their say in this important national conversation about strengthening regional Australia.”

Details on how to make a submission to the Senate Inquiry are available on the website www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Finance_and_Public_Administration/PublicGovernance