Leaders push for Goldfields stopover
Community and mining industry leaders have called on the Federal Government to visit the Goldfields during the drafting of a regional development policy.
So far, no consultation sessions have been scheduled for the region.
The Government plans to conduct a “grassroots” consultation process in the regions to better understand local needs, but only Albany and Gingin have been included on the WA itinerary.
O’Connor MP Rick Wilson said he would “absolutely like to see” the Goldfields included in the crafting of the document and joined City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor John Bowler in pledging to invite Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack to the region.
Staff from the office of Mr McCormack, who will begin the consultation process next month, told the Kalgoorlie Miner yesterday they were trying to schedule a visit to KalgoorlieBoulder.
The new regional development policy, announced by Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss yesterday, will outline the long-term vision for regional Australia.
Mr Truss said discussions would put regional areas, including indigenous communities, “firmly in the driver’s seat”.
“More often than not, the opportunities and solutions identified at the local level to meet local needs are the best,” he said.
Mr Bowler said he was pleased the Government was looking at a new policy for regional Australia, but he wanted to see the Goldfields included.
“I’ll be writing to the minister and asking him to come here,” he said.
Although northern WA has been left off the consultation itinerary to date, Mr Wilson said it had received “massive investment” and he was keen to see the spotlight shone on the southern part of the State.
“I would absolutely like to see the Goldfields included in Minister McCormack’s visit to WA and I have extended a personal invitation to the minister to visit Kalgoorlie to meet with regional development-type stakeholders,” he said.
Association of Mining and Exploration Companies chief executive Simon Bennison described the Goldfields as a mining hub that “should definitely be included in the discussions” for the Government’s policy.
His comments were echoed by Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA chief executive Reg HowardSmith, who said the views of resource-rich towns needed to be taken into account.