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Federal focus on decentralisation welcomed
With decentralisation a key ask in Latrobe City’s transition advocacy campaign, Council welcomed and congratulated the Australia Government on firm action, to progress action in relocating departments, or parts thereof, to regional settings.
By Portal Admin - 21st April 2017 - Back to NewsSenator Fiona Nash, Minister for Regional Australia, addressed the National Press Club in Canberra this week saying, "By midyear I will, in consultation with others, create a criteria for government ministers to assess which departments, functions, and entities in their portfolio are suited to decentralisation.
"Portfolio ministers will be required to report back to Cabinet by August on which of their departments, functions, or entities are suitable. Departments will need to actively justify, if they don't want to move, why all or part of their operations are unsuitable for decentralisation.
"The Minister for Finance will, in consultation with others, develop a template for business cases for decentralisation to ensure a consistent approach across government. Relevant ministers will be required to report to Cabinet with those robust business cases for decentralisation by December.
Latrobe City Council’s mayor, Councillor Kellie O’Callaghan, said Council had long advocated for a government department to be relocated to Latrobe City.
Latrobe City Council’s submission to the Senate Inquiry into the operation, effectiveness and consequences of the Corporate Commonwealth Entities Order, recommended the relocation of government department and the establishment of a hub for Commonwealth employees to be located in the City.
"Senator Nash spoke at length about the economic and social benefits of moving government functions to regions. She cited many examples of successful decentralisation models, including ASIC in Traralgon."
Raising awareness in the media about the advantages of having government agencies or functions embedded in smaller regional towns is key to shifting the sometimes negative image of regional Australia that is portrayed.
"We know we have a lot to offer in terms of affordability and lifestyle opportunities, but it’s vital that metropolitan Australia understands this too. Appealing to the city consciousness will reinforce the message that movement to the regions is a positive concept capable of delivering vibrant living and significant lifestyle benefits," Cr O’Callaghan said.
"The Prime Minister has tasked Senator Nash with introducing and delivering the decentralisation policy. We are fully supportive of this policy and look forward to discussions to lay the groundwork for the relocation of an agency.
"Obviously we would be open to discussing the relocation of any government entity and in our previous representations we proposed the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Brown Coal Innovation in Latrobe City. Clearly a good fit for our region, with its industrial heritage, it would also strengthen the government’s commitment towards the use of our abundant natural resource here.
"With ASIC proving the value of decentralisation in Latrobe City, our desire to see a further Commonwealth agency established here remains firm. Senator Nash’s address reinforces the message to our community that our voices are being heard," Cr O’Callaghan concluded.
Cr Kellie O’Callaghan, Latrobe City Mayor
Telephone: 0400 696 324
Cr Graeme Middlemiss, Latrobe City Deputy Mayor
Telephone: 0417 379 059
Media Relations Office
Telephone: 5128 5458
For general enquiries, contact Latrobe City Council on 1300 367 700.
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