Friday, May 20, 2022


Federal politics

MDBA starts dam releases

To demonstrate the magnitude of ignorance, look no further than the coffers of Australia’s largest irrigator, the taxpayer funded Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH). For the 2021-22 season, the CEWH has a total of 2,365,000 megalitres – 1,640,000 in new allocation and 725,000 in carryover from the year previous – 1,030,400 of that in the Murray system. As of March 31, 2022, the CEWH had used 492,200 megalitres in the Murray system for the 2021-22 season.

Desperately seeking big policy ideas for our smallest youngest people

A Charles Sturt University early childhood education expert asks where in the 2022 election campaign is the commitment to big investment and to big policy ideas that ensure free and accessible early childhood education for the long-term? Dr Leanne Gibbs tells ARR.News how the challenges in workforce supply and retention in the ECE sector are even greater in rural, regional and remote areas within Australia.

On which side will the rural independents hang?

Kookaburra decided that it could be helpful for readers of Australian Rural & Regional News if we were to conduct a survey of independent candidates from across rural and regional Australia to find out which party group they would support in the event of a hung Parliament.

Politics plagues housing funding

More than 50 new homes will be built in Cape York communities to address major overcrowding issues, but the state government has taken all the credit, despite using federal funding. Not for the first time, the health and wellbeing of Queensland’s most remote and vulnerable residents has been politicised.

NFF’s Policy Voting Guide scrutinises parties’ credentials on agriculture and the regions

In an election campaign of hits and misses for farmers and regional Australia, the National Farmers’ Federation has revealed how the major parties stack up against its election priorities, rating them in a Policy Voting Guide.

Kookaburra’s questions for candidates

In order to assist readers of Australian Rural & Regional News to obtain some more policy detail from candidates running for rural and regional seats at the up and coming Federal election, Kookaburra has put together a list of questions on some critical issues which one might expect any candidate standing for Parliament to be able to answer ... 1. If you are an independent candidate, in the event of a hung Parliament, will you support the formation of a Coalition or an ALP minority government?

Smart and Vickery: No response re national expert

Chris Oldfield. For more than a month, CEO Trevor Smart and Mayor Erika Vickery have not responded to questions relating to Australian Roads Research Board (ARRB) Chief Technology Leader, Asset Performance Tyrone Toole's expertise. Mr Toole has spent a lifetime building and researching roads around the world.

Road seals need accurate calculations

Chris Oldfield. When crunching numbers about whether to seal a road, the cost should be spread over 60 years "or as long as possible". Australian Road Research Board Chief Technology Leader, Asset Performance Tyrone Toole said it would be pointless to only spread the cost over 10 years.

Labor matches childcare pledge

Gabrielle Duykers. Kingston has successfully secured a new $1.8 million childcare facility, after the Federal Opposition agreed to match the recent election promise of its opposition ... Labor shadow minister for early childhood education and development, Amanda Rishworth, announced the bipartisan agreement during an interview with the ABC last week.

‘Day of reckoning’ is fast approaching: Speak Up

“It is impossible for this to be achieved by 2024. So, what happens then? Will we have huge volumes of water sitting in dams supposedly for ‘environmental use’ that cannot be released because it won’t fit down the system, but not enough water allocated to growing the food and fibre our nation needs? Under this scenario, regional communities will continue to suffer, and every Australian will be hit by increased cost of living" : Speak Up Chair, Shelley Scoullar.

Sophie wants change

Kirstin Nicholson. Sophie Baldwin wants to make a change. The Cohuna born and bred woman is standing in the upcoming federal election. She is the first woman from this district to stand in a federal election, and the first person to stand as an independent ... Passionate about water advocacy, in 2020, she started working with Southern Riverina Irrigators and it soon became evident that someone needed to have a louder and stronger voice.

Election: Pick your own preferences. Here’s the candidates’ telling selections

When you head to the voting booth, you will be listing the Page candidates 1 to 10. One is your first choice, 2 is your second and so on. Number 10 is for your least favourite candidate. Your preferences matter.

Levelling the playing field

Geoff Helisma. Election campaigns cost money, lots of money. The major parties, which more often than not form governments in their own right, have a distinct advantage when it comes to funding multi-million-dollar campaigns. But, over recent weeks it’s the ‘teal’ independent candidates who have emerged as a threat to the current government’s re-election. The Independent spoke with teal independent, Hanabeth Luke, who is contesting the Page electorate.

Hogan campaign launch

"It is a great honour to be our community’s representative in Canberra. I have and always will have, our community’s interests front and centre. This is the most important election in recent history – it is about jobs, flood recovery and cost of living” : Federal Member for Page, Kevin Hogan.

Budget 2022: $690 million on the table in record investment for remote housing: NT

The infrastructure program for remote housing will rollout more than $690 million worth of works ... Representing a significant transfer of power to remote Aboriginal communities, select tenders are offered to locally-based Aboriginal Business Enterprises as part of our commitment to building the capacity of these communities, helping them to become sustainable into the future.

The devil is in the detail – still a lengthy wait for Lockhart River

Lockhart River won’t see a fix to their telecommunications for at least a year, although the wait could be even longer. Despite last week’s announcement that Telstra would be awarded $3.5 million to improve the mobile phone networks in Lockhart River, Seisia and Cooktown, there is no plan in place to make it happen.

Housing tops agenda at regional TCICA meeting

TCICA chair and Kowanyama mayor Robbie Sands said that at least $1 billion was needed over the next decade in the Cape and Torres Strait to address housing shortages. “Both major parties have been silent on new Indigenous housing in remote communities, ignoring the fact that our people are facing entirely preventable diseases like rheumatic heart disease because of severe overcrowding,” he said.

Next government must prioritise active and adaptive forest management

The peak organisation representing over 1,000 forest scientists and professional land managers has called for all major parties to prioritise policies which promote active and adaptive management of Australia’s forests. Forestry Australia President, Bob Gordon said active and adaptive management would ensure Australia’s forests can continue to benefit society and the environment in multiple ways for decades to come.

Coutts Crossing man takes on Page for new Indigenous Party

The only the Indigenous-Aboriginal Party of Australia (IAPA) will be standing candidates for the NSW and Queensland Senate, and three candidates for the House of Representatives, including Brett Duroux for the Division of Page. Duroux a proud Yaegl, Bundjalung and Gumbaynggirr man, is excited to stand up for his community. Brett is a fantastic communicator, with a genuine interest and concern for people and the environment, is campaigning to give his community a strong voice and leadership, and to promote respect for the land and encourage unity and equality. Brett says, “The locals of this area, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are not being heard.”

Baarkindji man to represent new Indigenous Party in federal election

Derek Hardman, a proud Baarkindji man of Broken Hill, will represent the Indigenous-Aboriginal Party of Australia (IAPA) as he stands for the Division of Parkes in the 2022 federal election ... Derek has been a prolific leader and advocate for Aboriginal people for most of his adult life. An example of Derek’s down to earth, generous, and practical nature was demonstrated recently as Derek, with some other Indigenous Party executives organised the ‘Deliver-roo’ initiative during Covid lockdowns at Wilcannia.

Bendigo Greens’ campaign officially launches

Bendigo Greens’ candidate, Dr Cate Sinclair, officially launched the Greens campaign last Friday at their View Street headquarters, overlooking the fountain. A resident of Castlemaine, Dr Sinclair is an occupational therapist and health researcher who is passionate about sharing the Greens’ messages to those in regional Victoria.

Childcare for coast

Gabrielle Duykers. Kingston has been promised a new $1.8 million childcare centre under a re-elected Morrison government, just months after the local council was denied funding to establish the facility. Childcare shortages in the small coastal town have been an issue for more than 30 years.

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