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McCormack Reports 18 September 2015
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NATS BROKER NEW DEAL FOR THE REGIONS


THE Nationals are the only Party by, of and for regional Australia.

At the heart of everything The Nationals do is a belief that regional people and their communities deserve a distinctive voice. Country people deserve a Party which thinks only about them and their needs and aspirations.

And that is what The Nationals have delivered again this week.

With a change in the Liberal Party’s leadership and the swearing-in of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister, The Nationals moved swiftly to ensure regional Australia remains strongly in the heart of the Coalition Government.


TALKING AG: Leader of The Nationals Warren Truss fronts the media at Parliament House after negotiating a new Coalition agreement with new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Our Government is at its best when The Nationals and the Liberals work together to ensure our economies are strong, our industries are productive and our communities are supported.

A unanimous motion passed at The Nationals’ Federal Conference last Saturday is now a reality in Government.

We have agreed that responsibility for water policy should sit within the Agriculture portfolio rather than Environment. The Nationals understand, as do Riverina people, that it is in all our interests that farmers are supported and water is managed as efficiently as possible.

This week we enshrined in legislation a cap on water buybacks at 1,500 gigalitres – something I crossed the floor to achieve in 2012. We will now ensure there is a triple-bottom-line approach to water policy – that social, economic and environmental impacts are considered in everything we do.

We have also delivered a commitment to increasing mobile phone coverage through the successful mobile blackspots program. This program has delivered an additional seven mobile towers in the Riverina alone, and The Nationals in Government will ensure its continued growth. Communities with little or no mobile service have a commitment from the Government to ensure greater community safety – particularly on dangerous country roads – and make sure those in rural and remote areas get the connection they deserve to mobile technology.

Small businesses, whether in the paddocks or in town, are the backbone of our communities and our economies. The Nationals have not stopped working to support small business and enhance their standing, bringing jobs to our towns and increased farm-gate returns.

Thanks to The Nationals, Cabinet will now give real consideration to section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act (2010) to address the misuse of market power which disadvantages small businesses from competing on a level playing field or, at times, even entering the market at all.

Infrastructure, whether it be roads, rail, hospitals, schools or airports, bring an almost immeasurable boosts to our communities and our regions. The Nationals have overseen unprecedented growth in infrastructure across the country, and we have secured a commitment to the continuation of these programs. This includes the exciting inland rail, which will transform and boost regional communities across the nation.

Our nation is strong when the regions are strong. This is why regional people and their communities deserve a distinctive voice and a Party dedicating to advancing the cause of regional Australia.

The Nationals have stood for regional people and delivered some important wins this week.

They are wins that will ensure regional people and their communities – people just like you – stay at the heart of this Federal Government. 




Michael McCormack MP
 




THE iconic Inland Rail project – connecting Melbourne to Brisbane with a high performance freight line – is one step closer with the Australian Government releasing the Delivery Plan at the end of last week.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss received the final Report of the Inland Rail Implementation Group from chair John Anderson AO last Friday.

The Delivery Plan outlines a 10-year construction timeframe to complete the 1,700km project – including some 600km of new track, and puts the cost at $10 billion. Accompanying the plan is a detailed Business Case, developed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

The Report and Business Case provides the information needed to consider how best to build the Inland Rail network to meet the freight challenge of the coming decades – expected to treble along the eastern seaboard to 2030.

Inland Rail will complement existing road and rail networks and will dramatically boost productivity. Initially, it will provide for 1,800 metre-long trains carrying containers stacked two high and, in the longer term, much heavier 3,600 metre-long trains.

The new freight line will reduce transit time between Melbourne and Brisbane by more than 10 hours – reducing the journey to less than a day. It will remove 200,000 trucks, or 5.4 billion net tonne kilometres of freight, from roads each year.

The proposed route includes Wagga Wagga and Junee which will provide an immense benefit for Riverina farmers moving their produce from paddock to plate.

The Government has already committed $300 million to get pre-construction activities underway, including detailed corridor planning, environmental assessments and priority land acquisitions. This work is continuing.

The project will create up to 16,000 direct jobs during a 10-year construction period and a regular 600 jobs once operating. The Delivery Plan indicates Inland Rail will generate economic benefits of around $22.5 billion. 



MEDIA RELEASE
Monday 14 September 2015
 
RIVERINA irrigators’ confidence was given a vital boost today, with a 1500 gigalitre cap on Commonwealth water buybacks passed by the Senate, Nationals’ MP Michael McCormack has said.
 
“Stability for irrigators and Basin communities has always been my focus,” Mr McCormack said.
 
“This is why I crossed the floor to disallow the passage of the Murray Darling Basin Plan in 2012.
 
“In doing so, I secured from the then-Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, a commitment to cap Commonwealth water buybacks at 1500 gigalitres in Government.”
 
“This is a commitment which we have delivered today,” Mr McCormack said.
 
Mr McCormack said he will continue to work with the community to ensure the triple-bottom-line aims of the Plan are delivered.
 
“Water is the lifeblood of Riverina communities. It is vital to ensure irrigation communities’ economies and social fabric is considered equally alongside the environment,” Mr McCormack said.
 
“No-one understands more than a Basin irrigator the need to use resources as efficiently as possible.
 
“The Government has recently invested more than a quarter of a million dollars into on-farm water efficiencies in the Riverina to ensure farmers are able to do what they do best and maintain vibrant local economies and communities.
 
“The Nationals in Government will always back farmers and I will always stick up for our food and fibre producers and be their voice in the nation’s Parliament.”  







MEDIA RELEASE
Wednesday 16 September 2015

RIVERINA MP Michael McCormackhas described today's Commonwealth, New South Wales and Victorian Government agreement on the full rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as historic. 

"The NDIS is a once-in-a-generation reform which will ensure people with disabilities, their families and carers are able to access the services they deserve," Mr McCormack said. 

The Nationals' MP was the first Federal MP from NSW to sign the Every Australian Counts campaign to support the rollout of the NDIS in his first term in Parliament. 

"I have worked closely with Kurrajong Waratah, which is such a vital service to many people in the Riverina who have a disability, and have proudly supported the NDIS since it was first suggested," Mr McCormack said. 

The agreements give certainty to almost 140,000 people with a disability in New South Wales, with the transition beginning in July 2016.

Griffith City Councillor Anne Napoli, who is a carer for her son with a disability, also praised today's announcement.

"As a carer, we have been waiting for this for a long time. It will provide security and peace of mind to people with disabilities, their families and carers," Cr Napoli said.

"The NDIS is wonderful thing for the most vulnerable in our community."

Mr McCormack said he will continue to advocate for people with disabilities, their families and carers as the rollout continues.

"The NDIS is an issue that is above politics. It's something of which every Australian can be proud and something which will support those who need it most for generations to come," Mr McCormack said. 
 
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