The Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc.) (WAFarmers), as part of its 2013 State Election Key Issues, wants to see increased investment into rural and regional community services.
WAFarmers President, Dale Park, said WAFarmers wanted to see more investment in the areas of education, health and generic services.
“Last week, the Prime Minister told the nation how important education is to the future of our economy and regional educational facilities in Western Australia are crying out for assistance, to train our future generations,” Mr Park said.
“We want equal opportunities afforded to regional students to access secondary and tertiary education, including financial assistance packages, the continuation of the Muresk Institute in Northam to educate the future generations of farmers and continued funding for operational regional State schools.”
Mr Park said health was another area which needed more investment to attract people to remain and relocate to rural areas.
“Access to high quality health care is vital when Western Australians make their decision as to where they settle down,” he said.
“Improved rural and regional health services and hospitals, programs to encourage more GPs into country areas and access to appropriate mental health services are not only what WAFarmers wants the State Government to invest in, but it is also what people in country areas need and deserve access to.
“While the State Government appears to be allocating funding to regional and rural areas, a lot of the funding is centred on major towns and missing smaller/remote areas.
“The SuperTowns scheme is a good regional initiative but more needs to be concentrated on diversification of rural employment opportunities with the decline in agricultural jobs due to increased efficiencies on and off farm. We need to address the decline in the population in rural areas,” Mr Park concluded.