Barnaby Joyce
Barnaby Joyce

What is the meaning of regional when everywhere is regional?

OPINION: With Labor announcing that Western Sydney will be eligible for funding under the Regional Development Australia Fund, what meaning is left in the Green-Labor-Independent definition of regional?

As the government-funded Regional Australia Institute states: "Regional Australia refers to the non-metropolitan areas of the nation that live beyond the major capital cities and their immediate surrounding suburbs."

Minister Simon Crean, our Minister for Regional Australia, disagrees with this view, stating this week that: "Metropolitan regions are essential in our regional network, after all Australia is a nation of regions, which includes our capital cities."

Regional areas do not have hundreds of billions of taxpayers' dollars invested over hundreds of years in a small geographic area.

Because you cannot match the implicit benevolence of the taxpayer dollars seen in the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Anzac Bridge, parks, multiple public hospitals, multiple schools, universities, child care facilities and freeways, then it is important that the nation has a fund that in a small way allows some minor direction of funds to the areas elsewhere where this benevolence has not happened.

Like all with Labor, when the definition causes problems then just corrupt the definition.

Misuse the term misogyny?

Then get the Macquarie Dictionary to change the definition. Need to get funds from remote Australia into Western Sydney marginal electorates?

Just call them a region and get the Independents to put on elastic-sided boots and do a doorstop agreeing with this.


*Barnaby Joyce is opposition spokesman for regional development and is the Leader of the Nationals in the Senate.