McCormack hosts important meeting of Councils
14 August, 2017
THERE has never been a more regionally-focused Government in Australia’s history, Riverina Nationals’ MP, Michael McCormack, has told a meeting of 14 Central West Councils in Canberra.
Mr McCormack made the comment while hosting a Centroc general board meeting at Parliament House on Thursday.
Mr McCormack arranged for eight ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, and the Minister for Regional Development, Regional Communications and Local Government and Territories, Senator Fiona Nash, to meet with Centroc representatives.
“There are more regional Members of Parliament around the Cabinet table than there has been in decades, if ever, and so we need to take advantage of it,” Mr McCormack told the Centroc representatives.
Centroc chairman and Mayor of Lachlan Shire, Councillor John Medcalf, thanked Mr McCormack for hosting the board meeting and for arranging the impressive line-up of Ministers.
“It’s good that Centroc could get exposure to the Ministers and they can take on board the issues within our area to help advocate for us,” Cr Medcalf said.
Among the issues raised by Centroc councillors were health, the NBN, transport, energy costs and regional development.
Parkes Mayor, Cr Ken Keith, said it was very important for Central West Councils to have the opportunity to discuss these issues with Government Ministers.
“These are topics that are so vital to rural NSW and communities like Parkes,” Cr Keith said.
Forbes Mayor, Cr Graeme Miller, said: “We get exposure to the Ministers who are relevant tom our areas regarding the inland railway, regarding the Newell Highway, regarding the Lachlan River and water security.”
Mr McCormack, who is Small Business Minister, told the Centroc meeting the Liberals and Nationals Government was boosting small businesses in the Central West, including reducing the company tax to 27.5 per cent – the lowest rate since 1940.
Mr McCormack also spoke of how the Government was co-funding with telecommunications companies and State Governments the construction of some 765 mobile telephone towers to improve communications in country areas.
He also spoke of the Building Better Regions Programme, through which he was able to obtain $950,000 for the proposed Grenfell medical centre.
Centroc comprises the councils of Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Central Tablelands Water, Cowra, Forbes, Hilltops, Lachlan, Lithgow, Oberon, Orange, Parkes, Upper Lachlan and Weddin.