Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Finally, a Fair Go for the Regions; Government Reveals Its Masterplan

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Finally, a Fair Go for the Regions; Government Reveals Its Masterplan

Article excerpt

REGIONAL Australia will become a new economic powerhouse, driving employment, infrastructure and population growth under a 13-year Turnbull government masterplan.

Under the Regions 2030: Unlocking Opportunity,the government will focus on five key pillars: economic development, infrastructure, health, education and communications.

It follows more than a year of campaigning from News Corp's regional daily newspapers to deliver a Fair Go to the regions.

The campaign transformed the federal election with a series of damning revelations of funding neglect across Australia that had shortened life expectancy, undermined educational outcomes and lowered living standards in regional areas.

Now, the government has acknowledged that the traditional "one size fits all" approach to regional development has failed.

Instead, it proposes to deploy more than $9 billion worth of funding announced in last week's Federal Budget more strategically.

Regional Development Minister Fiona said it was about having a vision for what regional communities should look like in 20 years.

"It's about making sure we create both careers and jobs in our communities so our children and grandchildren can lead fulfilling lives," she said.

"It's about developing ways our young people can receive an excellent education without leaving the community they grew up in.

"It's about building the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to."

Eighteen new initiatives including decentralisation of public sector departments, the 1700km Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project, suicide prevention trials and $242.3 billion for schools were outlined as priorities.

The Regional Australian Ministerial Taskforce, chaired by PM Malcolm Turnbull, continue meeting during its development.

Senator Nash said the taskforce's objective was to turn regional Australia into an economic powerhouse and get city people to recognise its enormous value to the nation.

"Regional development is about much more than just grants and programs," she said.

"It's also about lifting the profile of regional Australia and creating awareness of the fact every Australian owes their lifestyle to regional Australia. …

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