Government urged to boost the regions

FARMERS: The Liberals' Frome State Electoral Council president, Kendall Jackson, chats with Crystal Brook farmer Andrew Sargent. Mrs Jackson wants more government offices to relocate to the country.
FARMERS: The Liberals' Frome State Electoral Council president, Kendall Jackson, chats with Crystal Brook farmer Andrew Sargent. Mrs Jackson wants more government offices to relocate to the country.

Former Frome Liberal candidate Kendall Jackson is on the campaign trail again - this time promoting decentralisation.

The idea is for government departments as well as industry to move from central points such as Adelaide to the country.

In her role as president of the Frome State Electoral Council, Ms Jackson said regional populations had been declining for years.

"There are a few simple things our Liberal government can consider to put some confidence back into our regions and help to slow the population decline," she said.

Her comments were in a recent edition of the Liberal Party SA Rural Briefing, a newsletter for country members.

"We had 16 years of a city-centric Labor government which focused on relocating as many regional services as possible to the city," she said.

"I would like to see the Liberal government working on a plan to reinvigorate our regions. Let's get back to the basics.

I would like to see the Liberal government working on a plan to reinvigorate our regions. Let's get back to the basics.

Kendall Jackson

"I wonder just how many state-owned buildings are left in small regional communities across country South Australia by the former Labor government.

"In the Mid North, there is the almost-empty transport department office at Crystal Brook, the almost-defunct Primary Industries Regional SA buildings at Jamestown, and the SA Water base at Crystal Brook which is half of what it once was.

"I am sure there are buildings such as these located across the whole of regional SA. It is time to have a regionally-focused transport team which is based in the region, using regional roads, gaining an understanding of the importance of the regional road network and living and breathing country SA. It makes a big difference."

She suggested moving some other regionally-focused teams to the regions, such as country health, education and primary industries.

"Consider for a moment what simple moves like this could do for our small communities," she said.

"It may keep a greengrocer in operation, prevent school closures, improve services at our country hospitals and provide environments which encourage doctors to live in these towns," she added.

"Not a lot needs to change and often the infrastructure is already there.

"While the Liberal Party is in government, let's build our regional areas. Let's support our farm communities and ensure we support those who support us."

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