With a State Election fast approaching for NSW, we often begin to raise our eyebrows and open our ears as to what promises our fearless leaders can provide for the development of our state resources.
It has become evident following recent disasters in Queensland and Victoria that events that occur in regional Australia have a realised impact on a state’s economy, resources and overall stability. The huge loss of crops in both states amounted to a large percentage of food destined for domestic consumption and as a country we will all bear the price rise associated with such disasters.
However, as I listened to a recent interview with current NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally, I was again disheartened at the lack of investment and planning for rural and regional NSW, yet exorbitant amounts of money are being committed to develop a new rail link from Epping to Parramatta. I am a metropolitan based resident of NSW, and whilst I commend the Government for finally starting to take a proactive approach to improving the worst public transport system in any global city, I am left wondering what investment is being made to improve infrastructure in regional areas?
We have seen increased freight prices in regional Australia’s we have been forced to move from rail to road transport in many areas through a built up lack of investment in rail lines. We have also seen the impact of mining on the competition for freight.
The appointment of a Minister for Regional Australia following the last Federal Election was a great outcome; however, I am yet to see the process for implementation of any proposed outcomes or a progress update on where implementation is currently up to.
We have the opportunity, and the obligation, to think long and hard about the future and direction of the state of NSW and I encourage younger members of the community, the future generations, to engage in the debate and understand how their vote counts and can make a difference.