Our electorate to a large degree is made up of people who have come from elsewhere in this world. We are already supporting the Yazidi community in Armidale which is flourishing, people from central Africa, people from the Philippines, the Indian subcontinent, and many other places, so it’s clear we don’t have a problem with migration in the New England. But there is a contract in that people must respect the nation they are coming to. They agree to respect its laws, respect its customs, not upend the social order or take umbrage against the religions which are present here in Australia or people’s right not to have one at all. And for our part, we offer the support of our nation and a fair go.
The Government is moving toward a policy of restricting people moving to cities and encouraging settlement in regional areas. Fair enough, we have no problem with that but the investment that is made to the city in the hundreds of millions of dollars will need to change so a greater proportion of that flows back to regional areas. We better invest in our water infrastructure, our roads, our rail, our airports, make sure the investment is going to our hospitals and our schools in regional towns.
If we want people to go to regional areas, we need an ordinate amount of investment in our regions, the same as you do in the Sydney basin or the City of Melbourne. It’s a two-way contract.
The people who come to our area must also be given a chance of a job. Likewise, the jobs they get can’t be at the expense of people already here. Additionally, respect for our nation has to be seen and not seen in the crime pages of our national papers. That may be politically incorrect but it’s a statement of fact the people here have. They don’t care about your colour, they have no issue with your creed, but they do care about crime and being crowded out of health, education and housing. Any policy will fail miserably if you’re seen as a dumping ground for Sydney or Melbourne and these situations are created by people not having a job. Jobs are created by cheap power, good transport infrastructure, good water infrastructure and a government that does not create excessive regulations about what people can do and how business operates.
We have a huge potential for growth in the New England and we’re seeing it right now. This can be accelerated through further investment in infrastructure and by the logical employment of human ingenuity that is added to us by immigration. We welcome immigrants, but we do it with our eyes wide open and trust the Government comes to the party with infrastructure and services.