by S Lowe 5 THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
Regional communities will benefit from the new Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock’s deal with the Premier, but his office said during the Minister’s recent visit to the South East, that this probably will not include the medical crisis in the region; saying the Minister’s interest lies mainly in creating jobs and economic growth and any discussions about health should be with the Minister for Health Jack Snelling. His office said Mr Brock had not seen documentation sent to his office earlier in the month so was not aware of the health crisis in the region. Mr Brock said during his interview with 5 THE FM, he made the decision to back Labour because he thought it would be in the best interest of South Australia.
Minister Brock release this statement today:-
Regional Development Minister, Geoff Brock says his agreement with the Premier will deliver annual funding of $3 million for Regional Development Australia boards across the State. “This $3 million annual funding for the RDA board’s will comprise $1.4 million – $200,000 for each of the 7 regional boards – with a further $1.6 million in contested funding re-instated to the RDA’s under the agreement,” Mr Brock said.
“My agreement with the Premier confirms the State Government’s commitment to increasing support for regional communities in SA with an additional $39 million package of measures from a combination of new and existing funding,” Mr Brock said.
“As both the Regional Development and Local Government Minister, I’ll be overseeing this package which will focus on results by funding projects specifically aimed at creating jobs and economic benefit for the regions.
“This package includes increasing the existing Regional Development Fund to $15 million a year and further one-off funding of $10 million to support jobs creation in regional areas.
“I want to make it clear that the $3 million funding for the RDA’s will be additional to the $39 million package, so it’s a win-win for regional development,” Mr Brock said.
“I’m concerned by statements made by the Federal Regional Development Minister, Warren Truss last week that the federal government is currently considering how the RDA’s can best align with the government’s vision for regional Australia.
Mr Truss went on to say that some changes would be necessary because at least two States no longer wished to be involved.
“South Australia is not one of them, and I call on the State Liberals to reinforce the message with their federal colleagues that we have a renewed focus on our regions and urge them to work with me to help regional SA grow,” Mr Brock said.
“The $3 million State Government commitment to the RDA’s next financial year confirms South Australia’s desire to continue to be involved.
“I’m passionate about the regions and equally as passionate about the role local government and the RDA’s can play in achieving change in our local communities across the State.
“I’m looking forward to working with them both to create jobs, improve infrastructure and drive small business to ensure the regions are not neglected,” Mr Brock said.
Editors comment: Regional hospitals are often major employers in small towns and the return of services to the Millicent hospital would help support the Ministers passion for regional South Australian in creating jobs and making sure that the regions are not neglected. Member for MacKillop Mitch Williams MLC said recently in an interview on 5THE FM, he will be speaking with Mr Brock about a number of issues including the Millicent hospital services.