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Federal Minister in Canning Electorate to talk regional development with outer Perth Councils



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M e d i a

R e l e a s eTHE HON ALEX SOMLYAY MR Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government FEDERAL MINISTER IN CANNING ELECTORATE TO TALK REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT WITH OUTER PERTH COUNCILS

The Federal Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, Alex Somlyay is to meet on Wednesday and Thursday with local government councils and business in the Canning Federal electorate to highlight the value of these organisations active participation in regional development and regional co­ operation.

The Minister said Mrs Johnston is determined to encourage councils in outer metropolitan areas of Perth to recognise the importance of organising themselves into clear definable regions.

He said the Federal Government has consistently indicated it is not inclined to provide administrative support for the functions of regional organisations.

"In pursuing its ‘whole of governm ent’ approach, the particular needs of regions are being met across portfolio areas on the advice of local Federal MP’s like Ricky Johnston and local government councils.

Mr Somlyay said he is keen to look at some innovative suggestions local councillors want to raise with him during the visit to the electorate with Ricky Johnston, such as the road strategy.

Ί am especially attracted to two suggestions to improve regional telecommunications and transport in this region of outer Perth.

"I will investigate the need to expand allocations from the Regional Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund programmes to boost economic activity in this region with better access to the online economy and international trade.

“The suggestion that regional input into the allocation of funds for roads of national importance has merit and I want to pursue this with the local councils and take their case back to the Federal Government," said Minister Somlyay.

“Local councils working in unity are well placed to address a range of issues to benefit the welfare of the wider regional community, especially in identifying and facilitating economic, employment and investment opportunities in the region," said Mr Somlyay.

He said this-region is benefiting from the important *whole of government’ element in the Federal Governments strategy for regional development. The work of Ricky Johnston at the Federal level has ensured that money has been allocated in almost every portfolio and this has a telling impact on the economic and social well being of this regional community in Canning.

"For example, the Transport and Regional Development portfolio has allocated in excess of $7 million in the 1997/98 financial year in Canning.

“Additional spending has been provided for infrastructure improvement in the electorate, with money for the Federal Road Safety Black Spot programme, financial assistance grants for roads and general purpose financial assistance grants which are untied to councils," Mr Somlyay said.

Ends 17 March 1998

Contact: Elke Reinstadler (Minister’s Office) 0418219 013 S22/98

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