21 April 2022 The Ararat Advocate

As we barrel towards another election, an important question is hidden beneath the political noise.

Can Australia afford another term of the Morrison-Joyce Government?

This question is particularly significant for regional Australia.

Regional Australians have borne the brunt of this Government’s incompetence.

Families are still living in caravans because despite the Prime Minister announcing $4.7 billion of bushfire relief funding, little money has been spent.

Farmers are still facing a labour shortage. After flip flopping on an agriculture visa for years, the Coalition launched a visa program last year and promised that workers would be arriving by Christmas.

But to date, not a single worker has arrived in Australia on the ag visa. Zero.

And as of March this year, Australia has slipped to 65th in the world on median broadband speed rankings – our lowest ranking to date. The Government’s most recent media release on the National Broadband Network bragged that it was a “strong and growing business”.

At every turn, this Government has been all announcement and no delivery. The Coalition seems to think that the process of governing starts and ends with issuing a media release and hosting a press conference.

When the Coalition makes a sport out of doing as little as possible, our country does not just sit idle, patiently waiting for adequate leadership.

The challenges confronting Australia do not wait for us to be ready. We have been cruelly reminded of this fact by drought, bushfires, COVID-19, and escalating global tensions.

So it is essential that we have a Government that is proactive. A Government that has a vision for the future. A Government that understands how crucial it is to strengthen our national resilience.

Improving the quality, resilience and reliability of regional telecommunications is a top priority for an Albanese Labor Government. We know that a high quality, consistent internet connection is not a luxury – this infrastructure is essential to keep us connected, resilient, and globally competitive.

Federal Labor will create 465,000 new fee-free TAFE places targeted at areas of demonstrated labour shortage. This is a big investment in Australia’s future and will be particularly important for regional areas.

And the National Farmers’ Federation supports Labor’s Powering Australia plan to cut power bills and create jobs in the regions.

Regional Australians face a clear choice at the upcoming election.

A tired, out-of-touch, do nothing Coalition Government asking for a second decade in office.

Or an Anthony Albanese Labor Government that has serious plans for a better future.