Letters to the editor

Regional Australia Ministerial Taskforce

STORM INCOMING: The Mount Isa copper smelter is about to disappear in the clouds in Sunday's wild storm. There were reports of hail, damaging winds and 30mm of rain.

STORM INCOMING: The Mount Isa copper smelter is about to disappear in the clouds in Sunday's wild storm. There were reports of hail, damaging winds and 30mm of rain.

I’m so pleased to let you know the Coalition Government has a new Regional Australia Ministerial Taskforce chaired by the Prime Minister.

The Taskforce will aim to improve the lives of rural, regional and remote Australians. It will come up with ideas across portfolios including health, education, transport and infrastructure, employment, industry and communications.

A cross-portfolio taskforce is the best way to implement good regional policy across multiple portfolios and continue to invest in rural, regional and remote Australia.

The PM’s presence gives it real grunt.

I aim to help build the kinds of sustainable regional communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and that means thinking well beyond the next election.

The committee includes PM Malcolm Turnbull, myself as deputy chair, Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce, Health Minister Greg Hunt, Education Minister Simon Birmingham, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester, Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan, Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Arthur Sinodinos AO and Employment Minister Michaelia Cash. Other Ministers will be co-opted onto the Taskforce as needed.

I look forward to updating you on the Taskforce’s progress over the coming months.

Fiona Nash,

Deputy Chair Regional Australia Ministerial Taskforce, Minister for Regional Development and Deputy Leader of The Nationals

Supporting free speech

Thank you, The North West Star.

You support free speech.

You allow Bob Katter (Big Tree) and Robbie (didn't fall too far from Big Tree) to spruik often.

Most of their opinions are not supportable by economics 101 or simple logic.

But hey. Let them through your paper be free to be stupid.  Let's ban 18C .

Seriously? Are they that stupid? Yep.

George Harley 

Mount Isa

Regional infrastructure

The Palaszczuk Government has no legs to stand on when it comes to delivering for rural and regional Queensland.

All we’ve seen from Labor since coming to power is a series of false promises from a do-nothing government - most damming of all is their failure to build vital infrastructure across the state.

Infrastructure around Queensland has stagnated under a Labor Government stuck in neutral, while our regions deal with significant economic challenges.

Capital spending has been slashed by $3 billion over four years, with regional communities particularly feeling the brunt of this cutback.

Instead of continuing with the LNP’s Royalties for Regions program, the Palaszczuk Government abolished it and introduced a watered-down version which has only $130 million set aside for next year.

Even more worrying is there has been no commitment from the Palaszczuk Government to continue their diminished program, with no money in the budget for future years.

In comparison, the LNP has committed $500 million for our Royalties for Regions program.

This is $500 million of new money dedicated to the regions over four years.

It’s only the LNP that has a plan to build the bridges, roads and dams Queensland needs.

Our commitment to restore our Royalties for Regions program will help unlock the economic potential of regional Queensland to improve our communities and build a better Queensland.

Deb Frecklington

Deputy Opposition Leader