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Regional Services Minister hits northern roads.



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13 June 2000 M110/2000

REGIONAL SERVICES MINISTER HITS NORTHERN ROADS

‘On the ground’ consultation with Northern communities and Councils is the key feature of the latest regional Queensland road trip by Northern based Senator and Federal Regional Services Minister, Ian Macdonald.

Senator Macdonald said that his road trip through Hughenden, Richmond and Charters Towers is part of his ongoing program to stay in touch with regional Queensland Communities by road - "the way the locals have to do it."

"You can’t get a real feel for the issues from a fly in - fly out visit, " Senator Macdonald said.

Senator Macdonald said he would be discussing a range of regional issues with local government, rural educators and tourism operators during his visit. The subjects on the agenda include:

Roads, including the ‘Reef to the Rock’ concept; ● Water management; ● Tourism development; ● The Melbourne to Darwin railway; ●

Natural Heritage Trust Funding; ● Rural and Regional Research Grants; and ● Distance Education issues for remote families. ●

Senator Macdonald said this trip was part of his ongoing program to visit regional Queensland communities by road. It follows on a number of similar road trips including Townsville to Perth; Townsville to Western New South Wales through Western Queensland; and a visit through the Gulf Country.

"These road trips come on top of a considerable number of regional visits as part of my ministerial duties," Senator Macdonald said.

"But, I always welcome the opportunity to get away from my ministry office and get in the car to remain in touch with my regional electorate. It is important to me, and the constituents I serve, to appreciate the real issues from the ground level," Senator Macdonald said.

Senator Macdonald will be conducting another road trip through the Central West, Birdsville and South West regions in the next few months.

Media Contact: David Moore (02) 6277 7060 / (0417) 774 724

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© Commonwealth of Australia 2000 Last updated:  Monday, 19 June 2000