Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 28 February 2012:
New ‘Regional Australia Institute’ – Located in Canberra!
“Minister Crean has finally launched the new ‘Regional Australia Institute’ today, over 18 months after it was promised.
“This is a great idea but it’s a bit of an issue when the so-called “Regional Australia” Institute has one office, located on Level 5 of 7 London Circuit, Canberra.
“When I think of Regional Australia, I think of dark, starry nights, long, lonely drives between towns and furry animals running across the road. I don’t think of Walter Burley Griffin, a man made fountain on a man-made lake and about 350,000 people living around it.
The Institute’s own website states that:
The term ‘Regional Australia’ refers to the non-metropolitan areas of the nation that lie beyond the major capital cities and their immediate surrounding suburbs’
“Why then is the Institute’s only office located in the heart of Australia’s capital city? How are they supposed to research ‘regional’ Australia from a desk in Canberra?
“I am sure the good people of Glenn Innes or Longreach would have loved a new taxpayer funded institute in their town. Not even Tamworth, Wagga or Orange got a look in.
“Ultimately what we have got is incongruous tokenism and no real outcomes for regional Australia.”