On the map, at least for now

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS @SCHOOL -

AP­PAR­ENTLY the re­gions are part of Aus­tralia af­ter all. The po­lit­i­cans are start­ing to smell the cof­fee, po­lit­i­cally, and re­al­is­ing it’s not all waft­ing out of hip cafes in lit­tle al­ley ways in Mel­bourne. The fed­eral gov­ern­ment has told ev­ery gov­ern­ment de­part­ment and its agen­cies that they have to an­a­lyse them­selves to see which, if any, part of their busi­ness can be taken out of Can­berra and into the coun­try­side.

There’s so much to like about the idea, though it’s not with­out com­pli­ca­tions.

An in­dige­nous leader has al­ready said how much they would wel­come In­dige­nous Af­fairs be­ing moved to a place like Cairns. Fancy that – pub­lic ser­vants and their bosses ac­tu­ally liv­ing among the peo­ple they serve.

It should be an ac­tive idea at the state level too.

We of­ten see in this Shire how the cen­tral­i­sa­tion of gov­ern­ment way down in Bris­bane leads to poor de­ci­sion mak­ing – for ex­am­ple, around the is­sue of croc­o­dile man­age­ment and the al­lo­ca­tion of land for Paws and Claws.

The em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties that go with the de­cen­tral­i­sa­tion of the pub­lic ser­vice are some­thing that re­gional peo­ple have ev­ery right to ex­pect.

A big na­tion like ours needs to be con­nected and in touch with it­self. The na­tion needs to have the de­sire and vi­sion to em­brace its far­thest cor­ners. With­out this, we are let­ting our­selves down, and all those who be­queathed us this land – es­pe­cially per­ti­nent as we com­mem­o­rate An­zac Day once gain.

All those coun­try men who went off to the two world wars, and ev­ery­thing since. In 1914 the coun­try­side was pop­u­lated equally as strongly as the big cities. Now are hud­dled on the Eastern seaboard.

I like cof­fee shops too, but as a na­tion we have to be about more than ur­ban quaint­ness.

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