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New service centre for Surat.



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JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT

SENATOR IAN MACDONALD BRUCE SCOTT MP

MINISTER FOR REGIONAL SERVICES TERRITORIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT FEDERAL MEMBER FOR MARANOA MINISTER FOR VETERANS' AFFAIRS AND

MINISTER ASSISTING THE MINISTER FOR DEFENCE

M200/2001 4 July 2001

NEW SERVICE CENTRE FOR SURAT

The Surat community will enjoy easier access to a range of much-needed basic services, following the official opening of their own Rural Transaction Centre (RTC) by the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Senator Ian Macdonald, and Federal Member for Maranoa, Bruce Scott.

Senator Macdonald congratulated the Surat community and the Warroo Shire Council on their joint efforts and determination to improve local service access and said he was pleased to have approved $159,500 in Federal Government funding to establish the RTC.

“The RTC programme is part of the Howard Government’s continuing efforts to improve services in rural towns and Surat has grabbed, with both hands, the opportunity that this programme offers for a more optimistic future,” Senator Macdonald said.

Mr Scott said the RTC would provide the community with services including financial services, provided by the Queensland Teachers Credit Union, Centrelink, Medicare easyclaim, office and meeting room hire, fax and photocopying as well as QGAP services.

“This new RTC will make life easier for the Surat community and outlying rural areas, providing them with much-needed services they have lacked until now, and will also attract the passing tourist trade.  Today’s opening is a demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment to improving services in remote towns,” Mr Scott said.

Senator Macdonald urged other small communities in Queensland who lack basic services to follow Surat’s lead and apply for their own RTC.

“An RTC can provide diverse local services according to community need. The application process is straight forward, the funds are available and field officers are available to help communities through the process,” Senator Macdonald said.

“Those communities who have opened RTCs already have reported renewed local optimism.”

The RTC Secretariat can be contacted toll free on 1800 038 160.  Further information is also available on the RTC website www.dotrs.gov.au/rtc and e-mail: rtc@dotrs.gov.au.

00/2001 4 July 2001

Media inquiries: Senator Macdonald’s office: David Moore (07) 4771 3066 / 0417 774 724   Mr Scott’s office: Diane Balke (07) 4669 8024 / 0429 620 391