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Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Page: 7834


Senator RUSTON (South AustraliaAssistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources) (11:38): There were no other locations in Australia where currently a state department of agriculture and primary industries is located in a regional area. In the case of New South Wales, the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries and the New South Wales Rural Assistance Authority are located already in Orange. The existence of infrastructure in the area makes Orange quite unique.

I can run through all the other reasons why Orange is particularly unique for this particular instrumentality, such as its proximity to both Canberra and Sydney, making it very easy to access, and the existence of a broad range of other organisations that are already there to create a centre of excellence and critical mass in the area. And, as you would know, from your previous experience of belonging to the same party that I do, we quite clearly as a government are trying to establish centres of excellence in our regional areas, so that we can create the economic activity that drives our regional economies because, at the risk of sounding parochially regional, it is our regional communities that drive the economy of this country.