Labor hiding on Decentralisation – Townsville Hearing Not Enough
Friday, 19 May 2017
National Party Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie, today hit out at the lack of
hearings of a Senate References Committee into decentralisation.
“As a member of the Labor dominated References Committee into relocating some
Commonwealth agencies and offices to regional areas, I am appalled that there
is only one hearing outside Canberra – in Townsville.
“It is good for Townsville that the Committee is meeting there but what about the
dozens of regional towns who also wanted the committee to hear their
“They have to pay the not inconsiderable cost of getting to far north Queensland to present
their case, to support the government’s decentralisation program which the
Labor Party is determined to cut down.
“Labor just doesn’t get it and are prepared to play their political games at the
expense of the regions rather than have a genuine inquiry into the impacts of
decentralisation,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Labor has an agenda on this which is their right but they should admit that it is a
political issue, one in which they are prepared to make Regional Australians
“Labor doesn’t understand regional areas at all; it is prepared to abuse Senate
processes to play politics in Canberra.
“It does so at the expense of regional communities which have strongly supported
the proposed decentralisation program.
“Last Saturday I joined the Deputy Prime Minister in Wodonga in regional Victoria to
announce that some Murray Darling Basin Authority staff would be voluntarily
relocated to that community.
“The town was delighted and so was I, Labor on the other hand obviously couldn’t
care less,” Senator McKenzie said.
“It really is a joke when Labor suggests Councils get their chance to make a
submission to the committee in Townsville.
“That chance should have been given to them in local communities much closer to home.
“As part of a strong National Party, I will continue to fight for all regional
Australians despite the attitude of an arrogant, out of touch, city centric
Labor Party,” Senator McKenzie said.