The Australian Conservatives have unveiled a rural investment strategy that will increase crumbling road and hospital infrastructure funding, provide water security and bolster agricultural interests in the regions.
The Border Watch reports the party’s, “Investing in Rural and Regional South Australia” policy document outlines its plan to address the gap between services and investment in country areas compared to metropolitan areas.
The 18-page blueprint focuses on eight policies, including job creation, farming legislation reform, police and justice and water security, with the $88 million Royalties for Regions fund forming the centrepiece.
“The Australian Conservatives Investing in Rural and Regional South Australia policy is a plan aimed at boosting rural and regional economies, growing jobs and addressing the ever-widening gap between services and investment in country regions compared to city and metropolitan areas,” Australian Conservatives Legislative Council Member Robert Brokenshire said.
“We believe that regional South Australians have been let down by a city-centric government and that bad governance, poor planning and lack of investment have taken their toll. Nobody should have to fight for basic needs or beg a government for crumbs, no matter where they live, yet this is where 16 years of Labor rule has left many of our rural communities,” he said.
Under the party’s proposed Food Producers’ Right to Farm legislation, farmers would be protected from nuisance complaints and lawsuits when undertaking routine farming activities and buyers of property in farming areas would be required to be told about agricultural use of neighbouring land.
In addition to a legislative ban on fracking in the South East, the party will amend the mining act to zone out all arable farming and grazing areas of the state from invasive mining practices.
The party has pledged an immediate commitment of $50 million to be allocated over two years to address the health maintenance backlog and further commit $70 million to the balance of work to be completed within four years.
The policy also outlines increases to country police budgets, including the establishment of a dedicated stock squad as part of the South Australian Police force and the reinstatement of the state-based portion of funding for community legal centres.
To read the full policy document click here.