Bush Summit is Dubbo's chance to shine

Thursday will be a great opportunity for Dubbo and Western NSW to really show our nation’s political leaders exactly what the issues facing the bush are.

Being hosted at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre, The Daily Telegraph Bush Summit include the likes of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese as well as other state and federal representatives, while being covered by numerous national media outlets.

What excites me is our opportunity to really push our politicians on the real issues of need.

Some of the things I personally wish to raise are obvious. These include drought assistance, water and regional infrastructure rollouts. From a local Council’s point of view, programs such as the federal assistance grant system needs a major overhaul, as well as encouraging the government to put further funding into their highly successful Roads to Recovery program. 

It’s fair to say that without government assistance by way of programs like Roads to Recovery, most rural and regional Councils simply would not be able to maintain our roads network to a safe level.  In Dubbo alone, we have 1500 kilometres of unsealed road that requires a huge amount of funds every year to maintain.

However, I also see it as a great opportunity for discussion about serious reform of the regional economy.  

One of the best ways to boost regional Australia would be for zonal tax plan being implemented.  For example, if the government drew a simple line around Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong and decided that payroll tax was not to be paid outside these areas, one can only imagine what sort of rush there would be from the private sector to move their operations (and jobs) to regions like ours.

I am also keen to talk to our leaders about ways to stimulate our housing sector.  Significant relocation grants and incentives for new homes must be on the state and national agenda if we are to be serious about regional population growth. 

It needs to be made perfectly clear that the best solution for Sydney’s population explosion is to start working out ways to get both population and industry out into the regions.  A clear financial incentive for people and industry to relocate is the best way forward.

Dubbo has this great opportunity to press the flesh, and show our leaders the things that really matter.  Scott Morrison needs to be given full marks for this being his second visit to Dubbo while only having been in office less than 12 months.  It’s obvious that we have politicians that are keen on solutions that actually work.  Thursday is our golden opportunity!

Last Edited: 24 Jul 2019

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