Northern Australia dumped by Rudd

Senator Ian Macdonald, Opposition Spokesman on Northern Australia, said that while he welcomed all the new Ministers in Kevin Rudds government, it was disappointing to see that he had ignored the vital portfolio of Northern Development.

Not creating a portfolio for Northern development is a slap in the face for Northern Australia and ignores the myriad possibilities for the whole country that Northern Australia offers, Senator Macdonald said.

In direct contrast to the Coalition, which has released a Green Paper on Northern Development and our vision for 2030, Mr Rudd has completely ignored the region and its possibilities.

He pointed out that the two Ministers given responsibility for regional Australia, Ms Catherine King and Ms Sharon Bird live in Ballarat and Wollongong and would have no idea of what was needed to take advantage of opportunities in the North.

Add to that, Joel Fitzgibbon whose electorate is Hunter, part of the Greater Sydney region, has been made Agriculture Minister and I would guess its a very long time since Mr Fitzgibbon had anything to do with the business end of farming.

This new ministry will be going to an election with no knowledge or understanding of what is needed in the North to revive the cattle and agriculture industries, hit hard by the live cattle ban, drought and bushfire.

The only way to get a better deal for Northern Australia is to return the Coalition to government.

We have a plan for Northern Australia, and if we are elected, one of the governments first actions will be to develop the White Paper on our vision and deliver it to the people within 12 months.

Senator Macdonald will conduct the first of a series of forums to elicit the views of stakeholders in Townsville on Wednesday July 3 at the Mayoral Reception Rooms, Townsville City Council at 10 am.

Further forums will be held in Cairns on July 8, Mackay July 10, Darwin July 22, Kununnurra July 23, Broome July 24, Mt Isa July

Back to List