Fresh Nationals team delivers
- First anniversary of the new Federal Nationals leadership team.
- Nationals list achievements under strong Ministry and team of community champions.
- Vital job-creating infrastructure includes safer roads, mobile phone towers and rural broadband and moves to bring jobs to the regions.
Marking the 12 month anniversary of the new Federal Nationals leadership team, Deputy Leader Senator Fiona Nash said Saturday, February 18 marked 365 days of solid hard work and delivery for every Australian living beyond capital city boundaries.
Achievements include Country of Origin Labelling laws so families can see what products are made in Australia and how much of that product is made from Australian ingredients, establishing a Foreign Land Ownership Register, and introducing a Rural Health Commissioner role to help continue improving health care in rural, regional and remote Australia.
“We have been listening to our communities, and these achievements are only the result of hearing their wishes,” Senator Nash said.
“Regional communities deserve the same opportunities as cities and we understand this and are listening to this. Regional Australians know in Barnaby they have someone authentic and 100 per cent committed to improving their lives.
“Barnaby Joyce is more than just a great leader and Minister. As a father and former bush accountant, he understands cost of living pressures, where they hit the hip pocket, just as he does the farms, businesses and households that make our rural communities such an integral part of Australia.
“Last year, under pressure from an attack on his own seat, Barnaby Joyce led the Nationals to an historic election result against the swing, bringing the Nationals to 22 members and senators in Parliament. Led by Barnaby, we won that result door by door, street by street, town by town and it delivered us five cabinet Ministers.
“Our communities know Barnaby does not back down – not on getting a fair price for farmers at the farm gate, not on building dams, not on decentralisation and moving jobs to regional areas, and not on delivering a golden age for agriculture including record national agricultural production exceeding $60 billion in value this year, for the first time. In 2009 long before he was leader, who could forget Barnaby Joyce almost single-handedly turned the carbon tax debate in Australia. Barnaby Joyce fights for the little guy and never backs down.”
Mr Joyce paid tribute to Minister Nash as a fiercely loyal deputy, excellent Minister, good friend and confidant who fights hard to deliver for rural, regional and remote Australia.
“Fiona was the driving force who delivered Australia’s first Rural Health Commissioner, is delivering 765 new and improved mobile phone towers giving new coverage to 32,000 homes and businesses, the new Building Better Regions Fund which goes only to rural, regional and remote Australia, and the ten Regional Jobs and Investment Packages worth a total of $220 million.
“The $300 million funding for ice prevention, treatment and education went to local health networks in July last year which will make a difference in communities across Australia. The effects of Minister Nash’s brave reforms to organ donation in the face of fierce attack helped lift Australia’s donation rate from well below target to beating it – this will save lives all over Australia.
“Meanwhile more than two-thirds of all work completed on the NBN has been outside the capital cities and the Sky Muster satellite is now delivering high speed internet to rural and remote Australians who would never have received it any other way.”
Mr Joyce said the Nationals had been responsible for negotiating outcomes and driving agendas such as working to achieve the 15 per cent backpacker tax and stopping the forced sale of farmland against owner’s wishes to the Australian Defence Force.
“The Nationals drive agendas for the communities we represent. People doing it tough, people living in towns on the edges, farmers and regional communities,” he said.
“They want to see real results on the ground. That’s why we’re focussed on sealing the Outback Way, delivering the Inland Rail from Melbourne to Brisbane, $2.5 billion for water infrastructure, and upgrading remote airstrips around the country.
“That’s why we ruled out a proposed sugar tax and established easier access for regional students to Youth Allowance and boarding costs to help them stay in school.
“And that’s why we are asking regional communities to tell their story to Labor and Canberra to help us bring jobs to the regions in our new Decentralisation Inquiry.
“This inquiry was an invention of Labor to stop the creation of a new Centre of Excellence moving the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to Armidale – so let’s use it instead to show Canberra why people deserve skilled, well-paid jobs where they can afford a house.”
The Nationals have been an instrumental force in Government in bringing new and expanded trade opportunities.
“We want as many Australians as possible to buy Australian, but imagine if as much of the world as possible could buy Australian too – that’s our goal,” Mr Joyce said.
12 months of achievements:
- Country of Origin Labelling laws to see what products are made in Australia and how much of that product is made from Australian ingredients.
- Delivered the first Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land to ensure transparency in the industry.
- Committed to establishing the Regional Investment Corporation to deliver $4.5 billion of farm business concessional loans and water infrastructure loans.
- $100 million Exploring for the Future programme to drive the next generation of mining investment and jobs.
- Introducing a Rural Health Commissioner role to bring health care in the bush to the standard of the city.
- Worked to achieve the 15 per cent backpacker tax.
- Stopped the forced sale of farmland against owner’s wishes to the Australian Defence Force.
- Delivering the Inland Rail from Melbourne to Brisbane.
- Working with States to seal Outback Way.
- Delivering our $2.5 billion water infrastructure programme including feasibility studies across Australia.
- Upgrading remote airstrips around the country.
- Ruling out a proposed sugar tax.
- More money in students and parents pockets through easier access for regional students to Youth Allowance and increased boarding allowance to help them stay in school.
- Commenced decentralisation of government agencies into the regions including establishing a Centre of Excellence moving the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to Armidale
- Partnering with regional communities to help us bring jobs to their regions where they can afford a home in our new Decentralisation Inquiry.
- Announced a $100 million investment in Beef Roads bringing total funding to improve roads in Northern Australia to $700 million.
- Introduced the Ten Year Enterprise Tax Plan to Parliament, reducing the company tax rate for small business and reduce company tax rate to its lowest level since the late 1960s.
- Launched the second Sky Muster satellite which is connecting 2,000 remote regional customers a week.
- Reached 100,000 regional connections on the fixed wireless broadband network.
- $94 million to attract more doctors to the bush.
- Worked with the Coalition to deliver safer borders.
- Protected Medicare and improved primary health care and made over 2000 medicines cheaper.
- Legislated to protect volunteer firefighters from union takeovers.
- A new refocused Building Better Regions Fund dedicated exclusively to rural, regional and remote communities.
- A $220 million Regional Jobs and Investment Package to deliver long term economic growth and create jobs across 10 regions.
- Delivering 765 new and upgraded mobile phone towers and new coverage to 32,000 homes and businesses as part of our $220 million Mobile Black Spot Program.
- An $11 million boost to the Royal Flying Doctor Service, including new dental outreach services.
- A $25 million commitment to a new Western NSW Integrated Cancer Centre.
- $12 million for a new allied health training campus in Coffs Harbour.
- Reforming Australia’s organ donation system which has greatly increased donation rates, saving lives.
- Rolled out the $300 million National Ice Package to deal with the scourge of ice which disproportionately affects regional areas.
- Committed $152 million for a regional education package to improve access to education.
- Committed to funding 6000 new Indigenous education scholarships.
- Committed $24 million to support Indigenous youth and students.
- Delivering $15 million for a new PET Scanner and cyclonic machine for the NT.
- Committed $130 million for Northern Territory roads.
- Committed $97 million for a second Echuca-Moama Bridge.
- Allocated $594 million to start pre-construction works on the Brisbane to Melbourne Inland Rail.