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Gillard ignores rural and regional sustainability.

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THE HON DR SHARMAN STONE MP Federal Member for Murray Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Childcare & Shadow Minister for the Status of Women

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Gillard ignores rural and regional sustainability

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been telling a conference in Sydney yesterday that she is very concerned about urban congestion. She has told the Sustainable Population for the Future Conference that she will make sure that metropolitan and urban communities are supported to ease their congestion.

Sharman Stone, Federal Member for Murray said that unfortunately missing from her statement was anything to do with rural and regional populations.

“Towns like Girgarre, Rushworth, Strathmerton, Inglewood, Wedderburn, Tongala and Stanhope to name but a few would welcome new families with new jobs and new services.

“What do Prime Minister Gillard and her Cabinet and Ministers think about the loss of population in some parts of rural and regional Australia?

“Who does she think is going to grow the food for the populations in our capital cities of Australia?

“When is she going acknowledge that we have already lost much of our best soils, water catchments and our best brains who once grew all of the food for the local and export markets?

It seems that the catchcry of ‘sustainable population development’ is the order of the day for the Labor Government.

“However, Labor is failing to take a holistic approach, including all parts of Australia. It seems the word decentralisation is right off the agenda.

Sharman Stone said, there could be a win-win scenario with rural communities gaining from additional employment opportunities, better infrastructure, and at the same time offering great new communities to those currently crowed out of the traffic jammed suburbs of our cities.

Media enquiries: Jo Shannon 0417 148 110