Bendigo to host public hearing on Regional Development and Decentralisation

Today Bendigo will be host to the regional public hearing of the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation.

Federal Member for Bendigo and Committee member, Lisa Chesters MP has pushed for Bendigo to play host to the hearing.

“The role of this committee is to find new ways that will encourage regional development and decentralisation services in regional parts of the country. I am excited the Bendigo electorate will be engaged in this national discussion

“It is vital that local stakeholders have the opportunity to engage in this national discussion and play a role in developing the future of Bendigo and Central Victoria.

“This select group of MPs will also examine the potential to relocate government agencies and functions from the cities to regional parts of the country.

"To date Malcolm Turnbull, Barnaby Joyce and their Government have used the public service to pork barrel for their own seats. They have transferred jobs from Labor electorates like Bendigo to their own electorates without any case study or strategy analysis as to why. It's just wrong," said Ms Chesters.

Since the Liberal National Government came into power in 2013, there have been continuous job cuts at Bendigo Australia Post and Centrelink and forced closures of the AEMI and the ATO.

“These job cuts have had a huge impact to Bendigo and Central Victoria. Secure public sector jobs are critically important to the economy of regional areas.

“We already have the educational pathways established in Bendigo. We have the largest finance sector hub in regional Australia that already employs over 1000 people. We have all the infrastructure so why does this Government keep moving jobs to the big cities?

“Bendigo needs to be given a fair hearing from a Government that has been decimating our industries and making it even harder for regional businesses, workers and communities,” said Ms Chesters.

Ms Chesters said it put into question the Turnbull Liberal Government’s commitment to regional Australia.

The final report will be available by the 28th of February 2018.