Independents Celebrate, Nationals Stagnate

Whilst the Federal Regional and Rural Independents celebrate and regain some of the focus on regional and rural Australia, the State based National MPs stagnate.  The current NSW opposition, the coalition of the Liberal and National party have a great policy for regional NSW but no mention of it from the Nationals leader, Andrew Stoner.

Stoner mentions the broader policy of Restart NSW but gives no mention of the regions but that is left to Coalition leader (pdf) and most likely NSW’s next Premier Barry O’Farrell.

This is a surprise given State based Nationals are streaks ahead of their Federal counterparts, it might be time for a change of Nationals State based leadership to someone like Ms. Hodgkinson and perhaps Senator Nash at a Federal level.

In any event whilst Regional and Rural Australia is front and centre of the National stage, you would think the Nationals would push their Regional Kickstart program for NSW in the lead up to the March election.  Whilst I recognise the lack of promotion at this time is probably being done for political purposes, there is no better time. You can read this policy over the fold.

Regional Kick-Start

Building the Infrastructure, Creating the Jobs, Bringing the People

The NSW Liberals & Nationals believe in the potential of regional NSW and it will play a central role in our plan to Make NSW Number One Again.

Regional NSW is a great place to live, work and raise a family. However it has unfairly borne the brunt of NSW Labor’s neglect. Infrastructure is run down and it lacks basic services.

NSW is one state. We cannot stand and watch a two-tiered society and two-speed economy emerge. Regional people are industrious, hard working and capable. There is no reason for regional unemployment to run half a percentage point above the state average.

Regional NSW contributes more than its fair share to the NSW economy through industries like mining, agriculture and tourism. It deserves its fair share of economic growth and infrastructure investment.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals have a plan for kick starting regional NSW. It involves building the infrastructure, creating jobs and bringing the people:

  • · Building the Infrastructure: 30 per cent of Restart NSW, the NSW Liberals

& Nationals capital fund to fix NSW will be earmarked for regional NSW.

  • · Creating the Jobs: 40,000, or 40 per cent, of the new jobs targeted for NSW under the NSW Liberals & Nationals Jobs Action Plan will be prioritised for regional NSW
  • · Bringing the People: The NSW Liberals & Nationals will introduce a Regional Relocation Grant of $7,000 to encourage individuals and families to move from Sydney to regional NSW communities.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals believe in regional NSW and have a strong plan to give it the kick-start it deserves.

Building the Infrastructure

In government, the NSW Liberals & Nationals will establish Restart NSW, a capital fund to build essential infrastructure including public transport, roads and infrastructure to support people working in front line services.

30 per cent of Restart NSW will be earmarked for projects in regional NSW. Restart NSW will fund projects such as:

  • public transport infrastructure;
  • roads infrastructure to address urban congestion, black spots and missing links;
  • economic infrastructure to address the economic competitiveness of NSW, including freight, inter-modal facilities and water;
  • hospitals and health infrastructure; and
  • improvements to workplaces for frontline workers including law and justice officers, teachers and nurses.

Creating the Jobs

The NSW Liberals & Nationals have a Jobs Action Plan to target 100,000 new jobs for NSW.

40,000, or 40 per cent, of those new jobs will be created in regional NSW.

Under the NSW Liberals & Nationals Jobs Action Plan, businesses that increase employment levels will not pay any payroll tax on the additional employees for their first year of employment.

Our Jobs Action Plan will work by:

  • providing a payroll tax rebate of $4,000 per full time employee for the first

100,000 new payroll tax paying jobs created in NSW; and

  • paying the rebate in two equal parts, on the first and second anniversary of the hire of a new full time employee. This will encourage long term, sustainable jobs.

It is estimated that the NSW Liberals & Nationals Jobs Action Plan will reduce the overall NSW unemployment rate by up to 0.3 per cent and increase economic activity by up to $3.6 billion.

Bringing the People

Sydney faces massive population growth over the next 30 years. This will mean greater congestion on roads and public transport and pressure on house prices.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals are committed to ‘whole of state’ development and believe there are many great opportunities for people outside the Sydney basin.

We believe that the challenges and opportunities of population growth should be shared across the State, not concentrated in Sydney.

In government the NSW Liberals & Nationals will introduce a $7,000 Relocation Grant for people who sell their property in Sydney and relocate to regional NSW.

The program will be limited to 10,000 grants per annum.

To be eligible for the grant, a family must sell their house or unit in the Sydney region and buy a house or unit outside Sydney. The value of the purchased property must be less than $600,000 and must be the principal place of residence.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals will work in consultation with local government and the community to define the geographic boundaries of ‘Sydney’ and ‘Regional NSW’.

Local councils who are currently concerned about local population pressures will have the choice of opting out of the scheme.

All good ideas lets see more of it. If not, bring on the Independents.  Bring on the Peter Drapers and Dawn Fardells.

Support the Independents, Democracy always needs and requires a Balance of Power.

You can’t stop the signal!

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