Senator urges residents to fight for more govt jobs

A SENATE inquiry may provide the perfect opportunity for people in Tweed Heads, Murwillumbah, Byron Bay, Ballina, Kingscliff and all towns in the Richmond electorate to lobby for the relocation of a Commonwealth agency to their area.

The Nationals Senator for NSW, John Williams, said the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee will be holding an inquiry into the operation, effectiveness and consequences of relocating corporate Commonwealth entities, as well as the economic, environmental and capability implications.

Senator Williams said it is a golden opportunity for councils, chambers of commerce and community groups to prepare a submission detailing why decentralization has so many benefits.

He cited cheaper housing, lower rents, improved technology and a less-stress lifestyle compared to the big cities as just some of the benefits.

"In 1992 the NSW Nationals in government moved the Department of Agriculture from Sydney to Orange," he said.

"Even the NSW Labor Government under Premier Bob Carr committed to increasing jobs and investment in regional areas when it relocated five agencies in the early 2000's."

"There will be significant savings in moving to regional areas - relocating the Rural Industries RDC to Wagga Wagga from Canberra will deliver savings of about $1.2 million per year, including $266,000 in rent alone."

"Plans are underway to move the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to Armidale where excellent research facilities already exist."

"The Nationals advocate for more government departments to get out of Sydney and Canberra, and now the people in those areas can back this up by making a submission to the F & PA inquiry at and click on Finance and Public Administration."

Submissions close on March 10.