Ray Kingston sees the need for clear leadership and regional representation that actively seeks consultation and inclusion.
Mallee needs access to first class health care. GPS, mental health services, allied health and specialists. Models for successful funding and delivery of a high standard of these services to rural and isolated regional areas are broken. We need a comprehensive short and long term plan to arrest this decline.
Mallee needs the Murray Darling Basin Plan sorted out once and for all.
There’s too many questions, too much at stake and a massive trust deficit. Pause the plan, comprehensive review, Federal Royal Commission.
Mallee is a large seat. How we connect physically and electronically to the rest of the world will be a key driver of our future prosperity. We need better roads, the Murray Basin Rail Project finished in full, a plan for modern and accessible public transport coverage, an uncompromised NBN, and with 5G and the internet of things looming, to stop playing catch up and get ahead of the game in terms of mobile coverage.
A vision for the future
I see huge opportunities and sadly risks on the horizon for the foundation of our economy in primary production, and our fastest growing industries in wind and solar. Our farmers have already made extraordinary adaptive leaps in response to climate change. Government needs to step up and support them in this, in land based mitigation opportunities and in misguided social threats to best practice operation.
Our electricity grid is also long overdue for modernization. Massive further investment in Mallee depends on power infrastructure upgrades. There are many other opportunities too. In tourism, local processing of local produce and ecommerce. If government is serious about rural and regional Australia it will commit to ongoing strategic investment.
Frequently asked about
Climate Change: Between significant renewable investment and the leaps agriculture has taken in adapting to climate change in Mallee, as a region we're actually ahead of the rest of Australia in this space and well placed to do more. These changes have happened in spite of government inaction, and Australia itself has lots of work to do. We'll see a lot more renewable development here if the government invests in appropriate grid upgrades and we've barely scratched the surface in terms of mitigation opportunities for land managers. I see my role as the Independent representative for Mallee is to make sure these conversations aren't overlooked or ignored and that our communities are helped to adapt to future risks.
Roads: The federal government rarely acknowledges their major role in our rural road networks. As the holder of the purse strings for the bulk of our tax dollar, they need to be dragged into a serious conversation about the vision and infrastructure planning required to move our region forward.
Immigration: Mallee has many success stories about skilled migration, resettlement of refugees and temporary workforce migration. These success stories underly a long-standing and important contribution to our economy and culture. We need a voice in Canberra that can cut through the politics, express our needs and outline economic and social opportunities.
Rates: The federal government needs to step up and play their key role in addressing the dual problems of very high rural rate burdens and ongoing funding of services in country towns. This issue goes to the heart of the future of Mallee towns and our economy.