A Senate Inquiry has so far received nearly 800 submissions demanding that it holds hearings in regional Australia to learn the benefits of decentralisation first-hand.
Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said it was imperative the inquiry held hearings in the bush or risked only getting the views of Canberra-based bureaucrats.
‘‘Regional Australia has spoken, with 48 hours before submissions close, nearly 800 individuals and organisations across the country have called for regional hearings,’’ he said.
‘‘Regional towns are sick of this city-centric focus that Bill Shorten and Labor are demanding be implemented.
‘‘The towns regional Australians live in and love deserve public sector jobs and career paths as much as the cities.
‘‘I’m working on moving agricultural government agencies to where boots hit the dirt in our bush centres but that’s only the start.’’
Mr Joyce made the call while handing down a decentralisation update for his portfolio, where offices had been established for three agricultural Research and Development Corporations, including a Fisheries RDC in Adelaide, Grains RDC in Toowoomba, Dubbo, Perth and Adelaide, and Rural Industries RDC in Wagga Wagga six months ahead of schedule.