Rural needs

By December 12, 2018Australian Politics

Catherine Marriott was the person who accused Barnaby Joyce of sexual harassment, and whose complaint was dealt with by the New South Wales branch of the National Party, which was unable to reach a conclusion after eight months1. Marriot is on Twitter and as a query to rural women, tweeted the following:

“A question for all the rural women and people who support rural women (so basically rural families)…… what election promises would be most helpful to you for growth and prosperity? Would it be child/health care, research, policy, business skills or something else”

Initially there were about 40 replies, and the most common item to come up was dealing with climate change. Some of these were quite pointed. One from @mormorlady was:

“While not ‘rural’ myself my sister is in NE [New England] electorate. Her main concern is that the current National Party are not interested in farmers but are on the side of coal .. her biggest concern is climate change!!”

@karinstark79 added:

“Start addressing climate change and the risks it brings for liveable rural communities, Ag [agriculture] and the environment.”

@stopthefrack was equally strident:

“A ban on unconventional gas mining / fracking would be my pick…. along with a Royal Commission into the original GLNG [Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas] approvals.”

@margo694 was even more pointed:

“Stop voting for the national party who are being paid by the fossil fuel industry.”

@ByrnePip said:

“Climate change. We lost our crop in Victoria, along with most others. We know the climate is changing and our future looks bleak.”

@van_Eepies_Hof said:

“Climate change…battery storage, water theft (Barnaby Joyce is an expert) extinction, bio-diversity…bees, trees…end live export, it’s tainting our good record. Mental health in the bush, when to quit workshops.”

@AbbYoLyn said:

“Climate action first and foremost. Without a liveable environment nothing else matters. Help for farmers to prepare forclimate change.”

Another topic which occasionally comes up was telecommunications infrastructure including mobile coverage and internet access. @Balagorang said precisely that

“Addressing climate change and really good mobile and internet access so [we] can run our businesses”

@blessedspeedy said:

“Access to stuff – public transport, nbn, no more black spots, childcare, more use of digital technology such as skype etc so we can attend things “virtually”. Basically we are not held back because of our location and services available (or not available)”

While there were numerous topics mentioned including affordable child care, education in the bush, improving roads, improving public transport, improving rail transport, doing something about climate change, access to good mobile phone coverage and good internet access were the top three topics. Given that the National Party will not do anything about climatechange, because they clearly do not believe the science, and that the Coalition government has crippled the National Broadband Network, it makes you wonder why people in the bush keep voting for the Coalition parties.




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