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Government's own research confirms regional backlash.



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Government's Own Research Confirms Regional Backlash Martin Ferguson - Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Transport

Media Statement - 7 December 2000

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The Howard Government's own political research, paid for with $200,000 of taxpayers' money, shows it is on the nose in regional Australia, Shadow Regional Development and Transport Minister, Martin Ferguson, said today.

The leaked Quantum Market research of public opinions in regional Australia commissioned for the Department of Transport and Regional Services says that:

Fewer than one in ten respondents felt that the Commonwealth Government was doing a good job in nearly all of the areas tested (from health, education, environment, communications, transport, business and jobs etc.) (p.14)

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It also says that:

Half of the respondents (51%) felt that decision-makers currently have only a little, if any, understanding at all of the needs of regional and rural Australians. (p.14) ●

And that the Government "has not lived up to expectations, particularly in rural and regional areas", with a warning that "the Government is at risk of becoming irrelevant". (p.18) ●

The document Communicating with Rural and Regional Australians is a damning assessment of the Government's monumental failure to deliver in regional and rural Australia," Mr Ferguson said.

"It is outrageous that $200,000 of taxpayers money has gone to overtly political market research, but what is even worse is that the research shows the Howard Government has ignored people in rural and regional Australia.

"Having slashed investment in infrastructure, services and living standards, the research shows attitudes are hardening against the Howard Government.

"This report confirms what every major report on regional Australia has been saying, that the Howard Government has ignored regional Australia for the past five years.

"As the research states, there is rural and regional backlash on and it is coming to get the Howard Government.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.