House debates

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Statements by Members

Murray Electorate: Murray-Darling Basin Authority

1:31 pm

Damian Drum (Murray, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Strong rural and regional growth is critical to Australia's future, and investments in infrastructure and decentralisation are the cornerstones to this growth.

The National Party, as part of the coalition government, is driving this investment in regional Australia. As the member for Murray, I welcome the announcement that the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee will be holding an inquiry into the operation, effectiveness and consequences of relocating corporate Commonwealth entities, as well as the economic, environmental and capability implications.

The Deputy Prime Minister last week said:

The Nationals believe in decentralisation which is spreading job opportunities across Australia.

He also said:

There are significant savings in moving to regional areas …

I submit that the City of Greater Shepparton, which is very reliant on the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, needs to be the home of a relocated Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

This authority would have the outstanding opportunity to be totally connected with its stakeholders in the greater Goulburn Valley. This would only enhance better outcomes for the environment, the economy and, in particular, agricultural production. Relocating the authority to Shepparton would have the absolute support of the local community.

The mayor of the City of Greater Shepparton, Dinny Adem, said, 'Decentralisation would not just sustain Greater Shepparton but it would grow Greater Shepparton.' The CEO of the Committee for Greater Shepparton, Sam Birrell, has said that the Committee for Greater Shepparton totally supports the Murray-Darling Basin Authority moving to Shepparton. And Peter Thomson of Geoff Thomson Fruit Packing is also completely in support of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority moving to the Goulburn Valley. (Time expired)