Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, presented a Notice of Motion today to call on Government to invest for growth in regional Australia.
On May 29 this year, about 40 major businesses gathered at the Australian Manufacturing and Farming Program (AMFP) Forum in Wodonga to showcase regional manufacturing and food production. This demonstrated Wodonga as the perfect position to become a regional hub.
Ms McGowan delivered this message from the regional business community: “They are concerned about the impact of trade deals, food labelling, foreign investment, unintended consequences of government decision making, as well as the adverse impact that occurs to their businesses when the ‘goal posts continue to change’. They say to me ‘we need consistency of legislation’, as well as wanting government to support Australian businesses through procurement.”
Ms McGowan called on the Government to prioritise investment in infrastructure to support growth in regional areas. Manufacturing and food production remain the major industries in the North East. Funding major projects will have a positive impact across the country.
Ms McGowan’s motion attracted support from across the political spectrum, with six MPs listed to speak. These included Member for Corangamite, Ms Sarah Henderson who seconded the motion; Member for Calare, Mr John Cobb; Member for Grayndler, Mr Anthony Albanese; Member for Bennelong, Mr John Alexander; and Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters.
“I am committed to working with my parliamentary colleagues to develop the vision of a strong prosperous rural Australia alive with opportunities for all,” Ms McGowan said.
Investment is needed in the following areas:
- High speed, reliable internet with metro-comparable upload and download capacity
- High speed rail and other transport infrastructure
Ms McGowan also called on the Government to consider the impact of cross-border anomalies to free up trade opportunities for border business markets.