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Rudd ignores Gippsland and Latrobe Valley in 2020 Summit.

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Warren Truss Leader of The Nationals Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Local Government Federal Member for Wide Bay


W o r k i n g h a r d , g e t t i n g r e s u l t s

Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 0419 233989 / 02 6277 4482

17 April 2008

Rudd Ignores Gippsland and Latrobe Valley in 2020 Summit

The people of Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley have been excluded by Kevin Rudd from this weekend’s 2020 Summit in Canberra, the Leader of the Nationals, Warren Truss, said today.

“I am appalled that the Rudd Labor Government could not find anyone from an entire electorate to invite to the Summit,” Mr Truss said.

“What Mr Rudd is saying is that not one of the people who live in this beautiful and highly productive region is among Australia’s 1000 ‘best and brightest’ and worthy to contribute to the Summit.

“It’s been a few years since I studied maths, but if there are 150 electorates in Australia and 1000 Summit delegates, then six or seven people from Morwell, Bairnsdale, Traralgon, Sale, Lakes Entrance, Mallacoota, Orbost or the other towns and communities in Gippsland should have been given an invitation.

“Instead, the 2020 Summit is overwhelmingly city-centric, packed to the rafters with Labor mates.

“I am amazed that the shadowy, US-styled Labor front organisation known as ‘Get Up’ has managed to snare a stunning 118 invites for its members. This organisation has never had any concern for local jobs and services, as can be clearly seen from its current campaigns which revolve around Tibet, Iraq and introducing what it calls a ‘Biscuit Budget’.

“They are hardly mainstream Australia, yet Mr Rudd has managed to find starting positions for half a dozen AFL teams worth of Get Up members, plus reserves.

“Issues like climate change are high on the Summit’s priority, yet the workers in the coal, oil, gas and forestry industries who will bear the brunt of any knee-jerk Labor decisions on greenhouse emissions have to watch on from the sidelines as their futures are determined.

“Delegates from Gippsland would be well placed to contribute to the sessions on the future of agriculture and rural Australia.

“I would have been happy to transfer my Summit seat to someone from Gippsland or the Valley, but I am sure Labor would not agree,” Mr Truss said.

“But I will be listening carefully to what the people of Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley say as I visit the area tomorrow and this weekend with Nationals’ candidate Darren Chester. I will certainly be taking the issues that are important to Gippslanders to Canberra.”