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Decentralisation is not just good for the regions

We are calling on regional Australians to make your views clear on why areas outside big cities deserve jobs after a new inquiry into decentralisation of Commonwealth agencies passed with Coalition support in the Senate.

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 and the Labor Party, why regional Australia deserves Commonwealth agencies bringing well-paid, skilled jobs to your area.

It’s time for every town in Australia to tell Canberra why they deserve an injection of government investment that will pay off for years to come. It's also a chance for towns and regional groups to put forward their own research into what vibrancy decentralised jobs would breathe into regional communities.

Every town that has ever wanted Centrelink or a tax office, every town that has ever wanted a Centre of Excellence, every town that has wanted an agency such as the Grains Research and Development Corporation or the Murray Darling Basin Authority, now is the time to make your bid.

We have been trying to get Labor to engage in the conversation about decentralisation, which is growing jobs into regional Australia and relocating government agencies out of major cities.

Your views must be made clear in this inquiry or they will be at risk.

The Nationals believe in decentralisation which is spreading job opportunities across Australia. Public service jobs are a huge driver of downstream jobs, especially when placed in regional and rural towns. Regional Australia deserves the benefits of public sector employment just as much as any capital city. After all, regional Australia supplies the water, food, electricity and gas which powers our cities.

We have long believed that the government should consider shifting federal government departments out of city CBD’s to give people the choice of living and working in regional areas, but now it is time to have your say.

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

Decentralisation saves millions of dollars in rent and moving jobs to regional towns offered housing affordability and a better environment for families. There are significant savings in moving to regional areas – relocating the Rural Industries RDC to Wagga Wagga from Canberra will deliver savings of about $1.2 million per year, including $266,000 in rent alone.

Submissions can be made to me at Barnaby.Joyce@agriculture.gov.au.

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