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Budget 2017: Grand decentralisation plan nothing but pub talk



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STEPHEN JONES MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS SHADOW MINISTER FOR REGIONAL SERVICES, TERRITORIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT MEMBER FOR WHITLAM

GRAND DECENTRALISATION PLAN NOTHING BUT PUB TALK

Labor’s Spokesperson for Regional Services, Stephen Jones says Minister for Regional Development Senator Fiona Nash’s grand decentralisation plan is nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt, with no money allocated in the budget to support the announcement.

Without funding in the Budget, the announcement is a cruel hoax for regional communities, who are already contending with unemployment above the national average.

Labor has been sceptical of the Coalition’s decentralisation plan from the start and raised concerns about the high cost of relocating government departments without any clear rationale.

The experience of the relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority from Canberra to Armidale has shown that decentralisation of government agencies comes at a high cost.

For the APVMA, an agency of almost 200 staff as of June 2016, this policy will cost tax payers at least $24 million - and possibly up to $60 million.

The absence of any funding for the Minister’s decentralisation idea in the Budget confirms our suspicions that it was nothing more than pub talk.

WEDNESDAY, 10 MAY 2017

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