Government challenged - commit to rural and regional budget statements
Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has called for rural and regional Australia to be at the forefront of the Government’s Budget and economic considerations.
In introducing a Private Members’ Bill to the Parliament, Ms McGowan said the Government must explain the impact of budget decisions on rural and regional Australians.
Ms McGowan said the Treasurer should be obliged to release a Regional Australia Statement with each Budget and Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO).
“We see the problem of a one size fits all approach to government policy. It is city centric,” Ms McGowan said.
“In regional Australia, government initiatives often have a disproportionate impact on communities. This is due to distance, lack of infrastructure, low population density and the time and cost involved in delivering services.
“In the provision of child care, aged care, higher education, health services and infrastructure, we know that the unintended consequences frequently cause communities and the volunteers in those communities extra work, extra time and huge cost.”
In Question Time on Monday, Ms McGowan called on the Prime Minister to bring the Bill on for consideration.
“I call on the government to acknowledge the impact that government decisions have on regional Australian communities and (to ensure) this information is provided to relevant parties,” Ms McGowan said.
The Prime Minister said the government would closely examine the Bill.