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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1136


Senator WILLIAMS (New South WalesNationals Whip in the Senate) (11:44): I, and also on behalf of Senators McKenzie and O'Sullivan, move:

That the Senate notes that:

(a) over many years, state and federal governments and local communities have seen the benefits of decentralisation through the relocation of government agencies to rural and regional areas;

(b) the New South Wales Nationals in government relocated the Department of Agriculture to Orange in 1992;

(c) the New South Wales Labor Government moved at least seven agencies from Sydney to a regional centre between 2000 and 2005;

(d) during that time the—then New South Wales Premier Mr Bob Carr confirmed Labor was committed to relocating government jobs to rural and regional areas;

(e) the Victorian Labor Government relocated the Transport Accident Commission to Geelong in 2009, and has commenced relocating Worksafe Victoria to Geelong;

(f) the Keating Labor Government moved the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to Traralgon in the early 1990s;

(g) unlike its state and federal counterparts in previous years, the current Federal Labor Opposition does not show any interest in supporting the regions;

(h) the Australian Government is in the process of relocating several agencies, many to rural and regional areas, including:

   (i) the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to Armidale,

   (ii) the Grains Research and Development Corporation to Toowoomba, Dubbo, Perth and Adelaide,

   (iii) the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation to Wagga Wagga, and

   (iv) the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation to Adelaide;

(i) planning is underway for new regional offices of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia; and

(j) the movement of agricultural agencies to locations will result in unprecedented engagement with farmers, growers, scientists, research experts, business and the community in general.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion moved by Senator Williams, standing in the names of Senators McKenzie, Williams and O'Sullivan, be agreed to.