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    Welcome to the personal website of Michael Gorey. I'm a Bundaberg-based communications professional interested in photography, reading, history, politics and travel.

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    Blog / State of the Regions

    Gorey Things
    17 June 2018 | comments: 0 | Categories: | Tags:

    State of the Regions

    Inequality between metropolitan areas and the regions is growing, according to the latest Australian Local Government Association "State of the Regions" report.

    The Wide Bay-Burnett on the Central Queensland coast has again taken the unwelcome gong for having Australia's highest unemployment rate.

    We've really screwed some things up in this country and regional equality is one of them (electricity being the notable other).

    Horizontal fiscal equalisation between the states was meant to ensure the same level of service delivery across Australia, but it fails to address inequality within states.

    We shouldn't have six states. There should be a lot more that reflect geographical communities of interest. States are a relic of our colonial past and should be disbanded. In my view it's a far more important and practical issue than changing the flag or becoming a republic.

    Horizontal fiscal equalisation could then be applied in a meaningful way to ensure that Sydney's North Shore isn't six times wealthier than Bundaberg.

    It makes no sense that Bundaberg is one of the most disadvantaged regions in Australia. There is prime agricultural land, plentiful water, a decent port, good transport links and excellent tourism potential.

    The fact it takes the gong is a symbol of state and national neglect for political reasons. There aren't enough votes here and federally at least it's a safe seat.

    Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey has called on the federal and Queensland governments to introduce an economic stimulus trial, whereby they reduce rates of company and payroll tax respectively to boost private-sector employment.

    It's a novel approach that doesn't have the hand out for pork barrelling like the Commonwealth has done in politically contested areas such as Tasmania and Townsville.

    A slice of pork wouldn't go astray either.

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