The deputy prime minister Michael McCormack visits local MP Kevin Hogan at Lismore.
The deputy prime minister Michael McCormack visits local MP Kevin Hogan at Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

Why Deputy PM met with bosses of our local councils

DEPUTY Prime Minister Michael McCormack today met with the general managers of Northern Rivers councils to confirm that election campaign promises would be delivered by the Coalition government.

The leader of the Nationals said he also wanted to hear about councils' wants and needs, specifically regarding infrastructure.

"There are a few wooden bridges that need replacing, rivers need traversing and we have a program to replacing them one by one, district by district, and we are getting it done in conjunction with the NSW Government," Mr McCormack said.

Page MP Kevin Hogan said one of the biggest election commitments was a new instrument landing system for the Lismore airport.

"They are looking to turning the airport into a more of a logistics, transport freight hub, rather than Ballina that seems to be the way to go with passengers," he said.

 

The deputy prime minister Michael McCormack visits local MP Kevin Hogan at Lismore.
The deputy prime minister Michael McCormack visits local MP Kevin Hogan at Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

Mr McCormack said the implementation of such technology could lead to the development of pilot schools, as it already happened in Mildura.

"The bigger airports just don't have the capacity for those flights to come in and out, we need regional airports to be able to help new pilots in inclement weather and other sorts of conditions," he said.

In regards to support for small and medium businesses, Mr Hogan said he will be helping local entrepreneurs to connect to their markets.

"There are two ways that can happen, one is the Pacific Highway as a physical connection, and that will be completed by next year, and online; fibre to the curb is getting connected at the front of my office right now, and I think that's going to revitalise the CBD," he said.

Mr McCormack said another priority for local government managers was roads.

"We have a $4.5 billion fund, we have put another billion dollars into it as part of the latest budget, to identify those regional roads - not necessarily the highways - but the byways leaking into the highways to get products from paddock to port, paddock to process, to take advantage of all the free trade agreements that we have been able to broker, particularly for areas like this one that punches way above it weight on agricultural output," he said.