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NSW north coast ignored by Howard Government.

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Martin Ferguson - NSW North Coast Ignored By Howard Government Wednesday, 10 October 2001

NSW North Coast Ignored By Howard Government Martin Ferguson - Shadow Minister for Regional Development

Media Statement - 9 October 2001

The NSW north coast is not getting its fair share of jobs and opportunities because John Howard and John Anderson don't believe in regional development, Shadow Regional Development Minister, Martin Ferguson, said today.

When John Anderson visits Coffs Harbour and Ballina today, he should be forced to explain to people why they should continue to cop an unfair and complex GST, bank and post office closures, high petrol prices - and the sale of Telstra.

The Howard Government's policies have been more about profits and corporate mates than people and communities, and they have hurt regional Australia.

John Howard and John Anderson have had five and half years to show people how little they care about the NSW north coast. The Howard Government's abolition of all regional development programs in 1996 has meant that many of our regions have missed out.

The Howard Government's hands-off approach is highlighted by local unemployment figures 13.2% in the federal seat of Cowper, 14% in Richmond, and 11.2% in Page which paint a devastating picture of neglect in our regions.

It is little wonder that people in regional communities have lost faith in the Liberal and National Parties.

Kim Beazley's plan for regional Australia includes:

Providing real support for opportunities and jobs in the regions missing out; ● Reforming National Competition Policy, taking proper account of the effects on regional communities; ●

Investing in our public hospitals, and supporting doctors and nurses; ● Investing in schools in need, rather than elite Category One private schools; ● Keeping Telstra in majority ownership and maintaining full public ownership of Australia Post. ●

Kim Beazley will fight for the NSW north coast to get its fair share of economic growth and jobs, through a genuine commitment to regional development.