Road trips flesh out issues
Petrol prices and aged care accommodation have emerged as major concerns for regional West Australians, and boosting skilled migration remains a significant talking point for regional businesses.
These issues have been relayed to The Nationals’ WA Senate candidate Nick Fardell during a series of trips throughout regional WA.
Mr Fardell said his trip, dubbed the “world’s longest job interview” on social media, had shown him skilled regional migration was front of mind for regional businesses.
“That’s our policy — that we need to increase skilled regional migration in favour of fly-in, flyout work to fill the employment gaps in the regions,” he said.
Mr Fardell said aged care accommodation was also a major concern in regional areas, with rising fears from communities their loved ones would not be able to access services close to home and would be forced to move to Perth or larger regional centres.
“Retirees are worried they’re not getting their fair share from their superannuation — they’re concerned the Government is not putting money back into regional and remote aged care accommodation,” he said.
The concerns come on the back of a royal commission into aged care quality and safety, which will look in part at future challenges and opportunities to deliver accessible, affordable and high-quality aged care services for people in remote, rural and regional areas.
Mr Fardell said strategies to tackle youth issues, specifically drug use, suicide and youth in the justice system, were not working in the regions and tactics needed to change.
“I don’t really see anything happening from the Federal Govern- ment on these issues,” he said.
“We need more money put back into PCYCs, we need drug programs sponsored directly by the Federal Government.
“There should be more involvement from the Commonwealth in that space, not just the State Government.”
He added regional people were “really hurting” from elevated petrol prices.
“So many people are working out that we pay a whole lot of tax on petrol and on top of that there’s the goods and services tax,” he said.
“The Federal Government has got to stop putting their hands in people’s pockets twice.”
Nationals Senate candidate Nick Fardell.