Minister for Regional Development Addresses National Press Club

Minister for Regional Development, Senator The Hon Fiona Nash MP recently addressed the Press Club about the future of Australia's regions

Thank you all and thank you very much, Chris, for that very kind introduction. Can I firstly acknowledge my very good friend and partner in leadership, Barnaby Joyce? Also my colleagues are here, Dr David Gillespie and Andrew Gee. Matt Canavan was on his way, I'm not sure if he's managed to get here yet. I also want to acknowledge my fabulous secretary, Mike Murdoch, and the previous federal director of the National Party, Scott Mitchell, and the current federal director of the National Party, Ben Hindmarsh. And to you all, thank you for coming along this afternoon.

It is great to have the opportunity to put rural, regional and remote Australia firmly in the minds of Australians. Our cities and, indeed, our nation exist because of our regions. Our regions supply the milk city people put on their cereal, the cereal itself, the cheese on their toast, the toast itself, the electricity which runs the toaster, the meat and vegetables for dinner, the gas which cooks that dinner, the fruit and cream for dessert, the water they shower in, and most materials which built the house they live in. When city people wake up in the morning, they should thank regional Australia for their way of life.

The Australian economy is largely driven by its regions. Regional Australia is responsible for 67 per cent of our exports and 45 per cent of domestic tourism. Many of the stocks traded by city trading houses are created in the regions—mining and agriculture stocks, for instance. The vast majority of regional Australia is humming along.

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