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Brock falters on regional consultation policy

Aug 06, 2014

 Steven Griffiths MP
Shadow Minister for Regional Development
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Brock falters on regional consultation policy

The State Liberals have again questioned Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock’s independence after he sided with the Weatherill Labor Government to adjourn debate on a regional consultation policy.

The State Liberals today moved a Notice of Motion in Parliament to improve the Weatherill Labor Government’s level of consultation with regional communities via the Regional Impact Assessment Statement (RIAS) policy, which applies to all state government departments, agencies and statutory authorities.

The Motion sought support from Minister Brock for the referral of all RIAS to the Economic and Finance Committee, with the ability to call witnesses to ensure better decision-making through a bipartisan approach on regional decision-making.

“Having flagged my intention in June to move the Motion, it is extremely disappointing during today’s debate in Parliament that Minister Brock did not make a comment and declare his position,” said Shadow Regional Development Minister Steven Griffiths.

“Instead, Minister Brock supported the State Government in adjourning the debate until 17 September.” 

Examples of where a RIAS has not been completed by relevant government departments before the State Government has made a decision impacting on regional services, include the closure of the Cadell Ferry service, closure of the Berri Consumer and Business Services office, speed limit reductions on regional roads and cuts to Moonta, Keith and Ardrossan hospital funding.

“The State Government has an obligation to prepare and publish a RIAS irrespective of whether a change to a service has been the subject of prior Cabinet consideration and decision, but only five RIASs have been completed since 2010 – and only 21 since 2003,” said Mr Griffiths.

“The Weatherill Labor Government has made many decisions over the last 12 years which have detrimentally impacted on regional communities and it is obvious that the requirement to undertake the RIAS process, including consultation, is not being met.

“But rather than standing up for regional South Australians and demanding greater consultation with regional communities, Minister Brock has once again sided with a Labor Government that has no interest or care for regional South Australians.

“Mr Brock’s performance in Parliament continues to raise questions about his independence and his capacity to deliver for regional South Australians.

“As Regional Development Minister in a Labor Government, Minister Brock carries enormous responsibility.

“After 12 years of Labor neglect, regional South Australians deserve better.”
 

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