Onwards and Upwards
Over the past weekend I had another fantastic opportunity to connect with local National members, this time at the Southern Regional Conference in Griffith.
We have an unprecedented opportunity in Government to protect and improve the way of life for people living in Regional NSW and it is not an opportunity to be taken for granted.
Only too often do we see Conservative governments thrown out after doing the hard work - turning around the finances and getting the ship back on course before Labor returns, spends all the money and sends us back in to bat on a dodgy wicket.
The investment we've always wanted is here. Our economy is stronger than ever before. There is more money being invested into the regions than ever before. Coming into government into 2011 we could have only dreamt of where we are now. We are seeing more services and more infrastructure being delivered right across the state.
We are embarking on the most ambitious infrastructure investment agenda this state has ever seen – over $73 billion over four years.
With so much happening across Regional NSW it is important to remember what we are trying to achieve in Government.
It is easy to get lost in the figures, no matter how impressive they are.
Learning from the messages received in the lead up to and post the Orange by-election, we need to sell our message better.
Every road we build, every person we train, every dam we build, every hospital we upgrade - every cent we spend – is to support and protect our local towns, cities, farms and businesses.
Simply talking about ‘jobs’ is fine but it is about more than that.
Jobs, particularly long term jobs, means your kids might decide to remain in your home town rather than move to the city to find work.
It might mean the difference between raising a family or falling into long term unemployment.
Likewise, a great newly built or refurbished school and more affordable housing will attract young families bringing money and new skills to our towns.
Improved roads and rail services help connect businesses and get produce to markets faster and more efficiently.
Without these investments – our Regional towns and cities will slowly shrink – services will reduce and people will take their money and leave.
Our goal is simple – it’s about protecting our Australian way of life.