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A good doctor knows that it takes the right question to get the right diagnosis. Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie has been putting that training into practice by holding personal forums across the electorate, asking how can we improve our system of government and make the tax system work to boost economic growth.

While most of us feel Australia’s system of government is probably one of the best in the world, it still doesn’t stop us debating ways in which we might improve it. The responsibilities of Federal, State and local government and how they are all run is essentially at the core of the debate about how best we run our Federation.

The Federal Nationals and Liberals in Government have been having a discussion about how we can improve our Federation and, given the direct correlation between revenue raised by the various levels of government, the Coalition has also been leading a broad discussion about how we might improve our taxation system.

Last year, David undertook a series of Fixing our Federation forums in 11 towns throughout the Lyne electorate. The forums were coupled with a household survey. Throughout this process, over 1,000 people provided ideas and feedback on potential reforms to improve Australia’s Federation.

Many people raised concerns about our complex tax system, others believed we had one too many levels of government, some suggested we need to look at new and innovative ways to fund infrastructure and services.

Since then, David has raised with his parliamentary colleagues, and in a submission to the Cabinet, many of those ideas, including costings sought from the Parliamentary Budget Office about some of the tax and programme proposals put forward by constituents.

Ideas about tax reform, Senate reform, infrastructure delivery and innovation are all now on the national agenda.

Following the recent redistribution and gazettal of new electorate boundaries David scheduled a further series of Fixing our Federation forums in some of the newer areas of his electorate.

Forums have so far been held in Forster, Nabiac, Bulahdelah, Karuah, Clarence Town, Largs, Stroud and Dungog in the newer parts of the Lyne electorate and in the existing Lyne electorate forums were held Wingham, Old Bar and Gloucester. More forums will be held over the coming weeks in other centres of the Lyne electorate and I will be seeking further feedback and ideas from the community.

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