Roy­al­ties hot topic of visit

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Front Page - Tari Jeffers

The “bas­tardi­s­a­tion” of the Roy­al­ties for Re­gions pro­gram and is­sues fac­ing agri­cul­ture, wa­ter and lo­cal gov­ern­ments were among top­ics dis­cussed dur­ing the Na­tion­als WA State con­fer­ence in Man­jimup at the week­end.

Guests for the con­fer­ence in­cluded Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Michael Mc­Cor­mack, Fed­eral Re­gional Ser­vices and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment and De­cen­tral­i­sa­tion Min­is­ter Brid­get McKen­zie, Na­tion­als WA party leader Mia Davies and Warren-Black­wood MLA Terry Red­man. Speak­ing to the Man­jimup-Bridgetown Times on Satur­day, Mr Mc­Cor­mack said in com­ing to the re­gion, he could not help but see the ben­e­fits Roy­al­ties for Re­gions had brought to the area and it was dis­ap­point­ing to see the pro­gram in its cur­rent state. “I’ll say what it is, it has been bas­tardised and that’s a great shame, a great pity,” Mr Mc­Cor­mack said.

“Mia Davies wasn’t far wrong this morn­ing when she said the anger about the bas­tardi­s­a­tion of that pro­gram is white hot out here in the re­gions. “Why shouldn’t they have ac­cess to recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties and the sort of ameni­ties and fa­cil­i­ties that metropoli­tan peo­ple just, quite frankly, take for granted.”

In her open­ing ad­dress at the con­fer­ence on Satur­day, Ms Davies said the party was com­mit­ted to Roy­al­ties for Re­gions.

“Not the cor­rupted McGowan Gov­ern­ment ver­sion,” she said.

“Not the wa­tered down ver­sion the Lib­eral Party has promised.

“We com­mit to an au­then­tic and strong Roy­al­ties for Re­gions to un­der­pin an ag­gres­sive eco­nomic and re­gional de­vel­op­ment agenda.”

Se­na­tor McKen­zie said in ad­di­tion to the im­por­tance of wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture in the re­gion, she spoke to Man­jimup shire pres­i­dent Paul Omodei about lo­cal gov­ern­ment is­sues. “We spoke about the chal­lenges of some of those smaller re­gional coun­cils and at a Fed­eral level, look­ing at how we can bet­ter sup­port them,” she said.

Cr Omodei said other top­ics he brought up were road fund­ing and fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance grants.

“It’s been a good thing for this dis­trict to have the Na­tional party State con­fer­ence in our town,” he said.

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