Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Bid to Relocate 400 Defence Families Here

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Bid to Relocate 400 Defence Families Here

Article excerpt

Byline: Madeline McDonald

ECHOES of "hear, hear" and cheers of applause filled the Rockhampton Trade Union Centre yesterday as Labor's candidate for the seat of Capricornia Leisa Neaton announced her bid to relocate 400 defence families to the Central Queensland region.

The former Frenchville State School principal made the announcement, along with numerous other election promises, during her federal election campaign launch yesterday which saw Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga in attendence.

Ms Neaton has always had a strong focus on education in the lead up to her campaign launch with the push for the Gonksi model, which will increase targeted student funding from $200,000 to $800,000 annually, to be introduced if Labor is elected.

But it was her major announcement that she would seek commitment from Labor leader Bill Shorten to relocate 400 defence families to the region that got the crowd pumping with support and emotion.

"One of the decisive actions I have taken to generate employment in the private sector is to gain a commitment from the alternative Prime Minister that we would relocate defence families back to the home of the 42nd Battalion," Ms Neaton said.

"It makes common and economic sense to relocate families from the landlocked barracks of Enoggera into a better lifestyle next to the largest tropical military training ground in the world.

"But let's be clear here, this is not about militarisation of Capricornia.

"The strategic intent behind this decision is growth and investment in our local economy and support for small and micro businesses.

"Four-hundred families coming into Capricornia would need houses, school placements, a weekly grocery shop, family entertainment and all the other consumables and services that we all value and access each fortnight. …

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