The new Parliament’s focus on regional affairs
Australia's 43rd Parliament has been elected and its first sitting week was in September 2010.
For the first time in 60 years the nation has a hung Parliament, meaning that neither of the major party groupings (ALP and Liberal-National Coalition) has a majority of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives in their own right. The ALP has formed Government with the support of three Independents and one Green MP.
Two of these four MPs (Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott) have signed a formal Agreement with the ALP that requires the Gillard Government to establish certain parliamentary and public service entities to give a greater focus on regional affairs, and to commit to certain policy outcomes for regional areas, such as a guaranteed one-third of the expenditure from specified programs (based on the fact that one-third of Australia’s population live in those areas).
These developments were welcomed by the Alliance, which met formally with the three Country Independents (Windsor, Oakeshott and Bob Katter) in the week after the Election was held.
Following the election, the Alliance published a seven-point plan for action on rural and remote health.
Our five-page report detailing metropolitan-rural inequities in health, education and communication sets out a justification for the Government’s stronger focus on regional affairs.
The Alliance called on the new Government to sign up to a set of Policy Commitments to rural and remote health.
Send your comments to email@example.com – and help us to take maximum advantage of this opportunity to secure better health and wellbeing for the people of rural and remote Australia.