• Hannah Phillips

Michael McCormack at the Press Club

The Acting Prime Minister, Nationals’ leader Michael McCormack, appeared at the Press Club on Thursday to deliver a speech entitled ‘Stronger Regions Make for a Stronger Australia.’

Mr McCormack said he’d gone into politics to look after people.

The proper role of politicians is public service and, in order to do this, the government is cutting taxes and red tape to encourage industries to move to Australia’s rural and regional areas.

He’s also working to develop infrastructure so that farmers can get their product to market as well as working to improve communications in the bush.

These reforms will increase productivity and contribute to wealth in country constituencies.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to issues in the bush and all Nationals members have different views about the best solutions to the problems in their constituencies.

As minds move to the next elections the Nationals will be focused on delivering national policies and national outcomes.

The government is on track to deliver $1 million new jobs for the Australian people.

His constituents want jobs for the future which is why the Nationals want the Adani mine to go ahead in Queensland where youth unemployment is running at 17%.

The inland rail project will have a significant positive impact on the Australian economy: the freight load will double by 2040 and, without the inland rail project, the number of trucks on the road will double.

It will also contribute $17 billion to the Australian economy during the construction phase.

Because the government also wants to get people to work in a timely and safe fashion, it has supported a number of large scale suburban infrastructure projects such as the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

It’s also developing water infrastructure such as the Rookwood weir.

The Northern Australia Beef Roads will boost beef production and will assist people in the regions, including indigenous Australians.

Because of the lack of doctors in the bush, Australia’s regions have a health problem so the Nationals will push for more medical schools in regional and rural Australia.

Research shows that, if people are trained locally, graduates are more likely to stay in the area where they’ve trained.

Relocation for rural students puts them at a great disadvantage because of the expenses involved in living in the city.

The Nats are strong supporters of decentralisation which is why some government statutory authorities have been relocated from Canberra to Armidale and Wagga Wagga.

Mr McCormack argues that we need a ‘Blue Sky’ vision and we should be prepared to take a stand on the issues it entails.

On live animal exports Mr McCormack said that, if we give up the trade, the vacuum will be filled by countries that don’t have animal welfare policies.

On the enquiry that is being conducted he is convinced that it will bring down a good set of recommendations.

Image Source - Bidgee

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