img_0925NEW AMSA REGIONAL OFFICE IS WELCOME NEWS BUT WHY TAKE FOUR YEARS TO COMPLETE?

The announcement by the federal government today that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will establish a regional office in Coffs Harbour is logical and welcome news.

Coffs Harbour will become the 20th AMSA office throughout the country and it is logical to have a presence between their current offices in Newcastle and Brisbane.

According to The Australian, the relocation from Canberra will see “up to 50 jobs to be moved to the northern NSW city by 2022“.

Why is it taking four years to relocate 50 positions from Canberra to Coffs? The relocation of this number of people should be done much more quickly.

At the northern end of Cowper, the National Party has created the problem where general unemployment is double that of Sydney and youth unemployment is near one-in-four.

Yet the best the Nationals can come up is 50 jobs over the next four years.

Labor by contrast this week announced its Energy Policy which will generate tens of thousands of jobs in regional Australia.

New data from The Australia Institute shows under Labor’s plan to transition Australia’s ageing and unreliable energy fleet to clean, cheap, reliable renewable energy will see up to 70,000 good jobs created for Australians in construction, installation, operation and maintenance of renewable energy; with up to 60,000 of those jobs being new jobs in construction and installation.

Australia Institute Rod Campbell says With strong targets, stable energy policy and support for manufacturing. Australia can clean up its energy sector and generate substantial employment opportunities. A large proportion of the jobs being created in renewable energy are outside of the major city centres, which has the potential to give regional Australia a much-needed boost.”

Yet, the Nationals only policy on energy is to build more coal fired power stations.

The choice is clear this election – more jobs and cleaner energy in regional Australia and with action on climate change under Labor or more coal, fewer jobs, more pollution and no action on climate change under the National Party.

FRIDAY, 23 NOVEMBER 2018


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NATIONAL PARTY CIRCUS COMES TO COFFS ON FRIDAY

The National Party has a full-blown circus in Coffs Harbour on Friday (23 November 2018) to make an announcement about their “decentralisation agenda“.In town on Friday is the Deputy Prime Minister and “Leader” of the Nationals, Michael McCormack, and his deputy, the gun-toting and coal-loving Bridget McKenzie.

Mr McCormack and Senator McKenzie might like to answer while here:

  1. Why is it after 55 years of continuous National Party representation in Cowper that the unemployment rate at the northern end is twice that of Sydney?
  2. Why is it after 55 years of continuous National Party representation of Cowper is it that the youth unemployment rate at the northern end is approaching one-in-five?
  3. Is Barnaby Joyce’s decentralisation plan that worked so well for Armidale still in operation?
  4. Isn’t it true that decentralisation under the National Party has been a total failure? (see the release below)
  5. When was the decision made to remove tunnels from the Coffs Harbour Bypass?
  6. Who made the decision to remove the tunnels from the Coffs Harbour Bypass?
  7. Why was the decision made to remove the tunnels from the Coffs Harbour Bypass?
  8. Will you listen to the community and reinstate tunnels into the design of the Coffs Harbour Bypass?
  9. We’re you aware that your new candidate for Cowper, Patrick Conaghan, was once a member of the Liberal Party?
  10. Are you aware that Mr Conaghan lives and works in Sydney the majority of his time?
  11. Don’t we need someone who will stand up to the Liberals rather than sympathise with them?

We deserve better.

THURSDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2018

CONTACT: ANDREW WOODWARD 0401041929


Media release generic header

STEPHEN JONES MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR REGIONAL SERVICES, TERRITORIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

MEMBER FOR WHITLAM

DECENTRALISATION POLICY LET DOWN FOR REGIONAL AUSTRALIA  

Shadow Minister for Regional Services Stephen Jones says that despite all the “big talk” last year, the Coalition’s decentralisation policy is a massive let down for regional cities.

In Senate Estimates current Minister for Decentralisation, Bridget McKenzie conceded that the government’s decentralisation policy is no longer about moving whole departments, contrary to what former Minister Fiona Nash first outlined:

In terms of those proposals in front of me for my consideration, and consideration of government, none of them include a whole department

Senator Bridget McKenzie – Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Monday, 22 October 2018

When it was announced by former Minister for Decentralisation, Fiona Nash in April last year, it promised to move entire departments to regional Australia.

“I’ll be responsible for creating a template for government Ministers to assess which departments are suitable for decentralisation by mid-year. Departments will need to either indicate that they’re suitable to move to the regions or justify why all or part of their operation is unsuitable. All portfolio Ministers will need to report back to Cabinet by August on which of their departments are suitable to be moved to regional Australia, and relevant Ministers will need to report to Cabinet with robust business cases for decentralisation by December.”

Senator Fiona Nash – National Press Club, Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The National Party’s flagship regional policy has failed to deliver at every step.

When the policy was first announced, it created high expectations in regional Australia – but the policy has been a massive let down.

So far, not even 100 public sector jobs have been earmarked for relocation under this policy.

Even worse, only 16 of the 98 jobs earmarked for decentralisation will go to a non-capital city and over 80 per cent of jobs will move from one capital city to another including:

  • 40 jobs to relocate from Canberra to Adelaide
  • 25 jobs to relocate the 20 kms from Sydney to Parramatta
  • 10 jobs to relocate from Canberra to Darwin

It’s the latest example that shows the Morrison Government’s plans for decentralisation lack any substance.

Minister McKenzie says she’s hoping to make more announcements in the near future, but the Government’s track record means regional Australia shouldn’t hold its breath.

MONDAY, 29 OCTOBER 2018