From Craig Ingram
Member for Gippsland East Wednesday, November 14, 2001
Ingram welcomes study to relocate
Government jobs to country areas
The Member for Gippsland East, Craig Ingram, has warmly welcomed today's
news that 40 jobs in the Rural Finance Corporation appear set to move to
Bendigo and has called on the Government to make the state's east a top
priority for future policy announcements on decentralisation.
Treasurer, John Brumby, today announced the Bracks Government would
conduct a feasibility study to consider the relocation of the Rural Finance
Corporation head office to the Victorian regional city of Bendigo and Mr Ingram
believes Gippsland East should be next in line.
"I have been encouraging the Victorian Government to shift Government jobs
with a regional focus to country areas since I was elected and I congratulate Mr
Brumby on today's news that the Government is moving ahead with
decentralisation policy," Mr Ingram said.
"Previously the Government has moved State Revenue jobs to Ballarat and now
Gippslanders are keen to see Government jobs in their region.
"A satellite branch of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to
Gippsland would be ideal.
"Parks Victoria, Fisheries, Agriculture and Resources are clearly relevant to the
region which boasts over 75 percent of the area as National Parks or State
Forests, thriving agriculture and fisheries industries and where concerns relating
to natural resource management are generated on a daily basis.
"What's more, requirements to issue boat licences, plans to implement marine
parks, and plans to increase fisheries enforcement indicate an increasing
relevance of the DNRE, in particular, for our region.
"Of course the benefit of moving Government jobs to Gippsland will not only
result in better management on the ground but will lead to flow-on benefits to
the local economy.
"I have been encouraged by the wide support I have received from all parts of
regional Victoria to my call for the Government to adopt this policy as part of its
strategy to sustain communities in regional Victoria.
"A history of moving departments out of capital cities into regional Australia is
essential to generate the self-sustaining communities that are needed to enable
regional Australia to prosper.
"A history of city-centric Governments combined with apathetic local members
of parliament are partly to blame for the past years of brain drain and the youth
exodus to Melbourne.
"But the tide is turning and I encourage the Victorian Government to forge
ahead with a policy of moving Government jobs to the regions and Gippsland is
the ideal region for the next announcement,” Mr Ingram said.