La­bor will back a Rocky flood levee

The Morning Bulletin - - YOUR SAY -

EV­ERY day last week, in the lead up to the Na­tional La­bor Coun­try Fo­rum, La­bor Shadow Min­is­ters spent time in Rock­hamp­ton and Cen­tral Queens­land.

Day in, day out, we met with small busi­nesses, com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions and lo­cals to dis­cuss im­por­tant is­sues rang­ing from health to tourism in­fra­struc­ture to se­cure jobs and agri­cul­ture in­vest­ment.

Rock­hamp­ton was a de­lib­er­ate choice to hold our fo­rum be­cause un­like the LNP, La­bor doesn’t take Cen­tral Queens­land for granted. We spend time on the ground, lis­ten­ing and learn­ing from lo­cals, and then de­liv­er­ing the poli­cies that will make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence in their lives.

And we put our money where our mouth is.

When I was up here in the af­ter­math of Cy­clone Deb­bie – I was in awe of the courage and com­mu­nity on dis­play.

I asked the com­mu­nity what they needed from Can­berra. They said the flood levee needed to be built.

So a new La­bor Govern­ment will pro­vide $25 mil­lion to build a new flood levee for Rocky and cre­ate lo­cal jobs.

The levee will pro­tect an ad­di­tional 1200 prop­er­ties from flood – and it will also save Rocky lo­cals up to $400 a year on their in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums.

It’s not rocket sci­ence. You lis­ten to lo­cals, they tell

you what needs do­ing, and you do it.

But six months on, and at the start of an­other storm sea­son, the LNP in Can­berra is not do­ing their bit.

All lo­cal LNP Mem­ber Michelle Landry can of­fer is yet an­other sur­vey.

So our mes­sage is crys­tal clear: stop de­lay­ing, start de­liv­er­ing.

I’ve writ­ten to Turn­bull again and again ask­ing him to re­con­sider his de­ci­sion and match state fund­ing for dis­as­ter re­lief works – Rocky de­serves that.

And if Turn­bull won’t get it done, I will.

The levee builds on plans we’ve al­ready an­nounced in­clud­ing:

In­vest­ing in train­ing and skills by back­ing pub­lic

TAFE.

Mak­ing sure one in 10 work­ers on ma­jor Com­mon­wealth-funded in­fra­struc­ture projects are ap­pren­tices. Pro­tect­ing penalty rates. And com­mit­ting $1 bil­lion from the North­ern Aus­tralia In­fra­struc­ture Fund for ex­pand­ing lo­cal tourism across the re­gion, cre­at­ing jobs.

La­bor be­lieves in a fair go all round.

And your post­code should not pre-de­ter­mine your destiny.

Be­cause liv­ing in the re­gions, shouldn’t mean a lesser stan­dard of liv­ing. It shouldn’t mean a sec­ond-rate NBN or lower wages. It shouldn’t mean wait­ing longer and pay­ing

A new La­bor Govt will pro­vide $25m to build a new flood levee for Rocky. — Bill Shorten

more for your health­care and it cer­tainly shouldn’t mean leav­ing town just to find a de­cent job.

And young peo­ple in Rocky should have the same chance at suc­cess as kids in Bris­bane.

La­bor’s week in Rock­hamp­ton was not a one off. It shows La­bor’s com­mit­ment to ru­ral and re­gional Aus­tralia. I’ve been here four times since the last elec­tion, and I’ll keep com­ing back.

Be­cause the peo­ple who know what’s best for the sub­urbs and re­gional towns of Aus­tralia aren’t in Can­berra.

They’re in places like Rocky. — Bill Shorten, Leader of the Op­po­si­tion

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