The Manning Valley Businessman’s Association has lodged a detailed submission with the Australian Government in support of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s stance on the decentralisation of government agencies.
The submission was a topic of discussion at a lunch gathering by local businessmen at the Manning River Hotel.
Association president Alan Tickle said Mr Joyce had caused some angst among public servants, which prompted a Senate review over his determination to transfer a section of the Department of Agriculture from Canberra to his own electorate in Armidale.
“Our submission argued that lower lease and freehold costs in regional areas, coupled with the technology available, makes perfect sense to have many enterprises moved to lower cost regional areas but government departments are a no-brainer in our view,” said Mr Tickle.
Local commercial real estate agent Dan Shultz who gave input to the submission put together by Mr Tickle, told the gathering of 17 businessmen that there are massive savings to be had if government have a will to establish or transfer departments to the Manning-Great Lakes area.
“My experience and enquiries show that both lease and freehold costs are more than half the cost of Canberra and Sydney area locations and we have plenty of land and suitable locations available in this area to cater for such demand,” Mr Shultz said.
The submission from the local businessmen’s group, not only argued the economic advantages to this area from wider decentralisation of industry and government but pointed out that the housing affordability issues facing young people in Sydney for example, do not exist in the regional areas.
“Creating employment as well as education opportunities in regional areas changes behaviours because the continued strain on city infrastructure and housing are lessened through development of regional areas,” said Mr Tickle.
“Australia’s urbanisation and concentration to the capital cities has been to the nation’s detriment in many ways but government, through the public service, has the capacity to change that and cause a flow on effect to the private sector.”
That was part of the submission arguments, Mr Tickle said.
“We argued the case for our area and the positive attributes we have such as location, NBN, transport, as well as the natural attributes that makes this a great area to raise families,” he added.
Tax on the agenda
Attending the same luncheon was local chartered accountant Adam Johnson who encouraged those present to review their superannuation before July 1 due to changes in contribution limits and treatment of capital gains.
Adam was then co-opted to lead discussion on that topic as well as the hidden tax of death benefits at the next luncheon on April 11 commencing 1pm at Taree Leagues Club.
Any interested businessmen are invited to attend after first contacting Alan Tickle on 6551 2333 or 0434 645 853 to register attendance.