Statement from the incoming federal local government minister

From Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie on being sworn in as the Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation:

It is an incredible privilege to serve the Australian people in these portfolios.

The Regional Services portfolio is a continuation of my current portfolios of Rural Health and Regional Communications and I’m thrilled to be able to continue our work on delivering more doctors and digital connectivity to regional Australia.

There are some exciting developments coming up in these areas, including the delivery of the National Rural Health Strategy and the National Ice Strategy, further work on obesity and delivering the Murray Darling Medical Schools Network, keeping regional medical students in our regions.

The Government continues to be focused on delivery of 21st Century communications for the regions including the soon to open the next round of the Mobile Black Spot Program where we will taking feedback directly from the community, state and local government on where they most need better coverage.

I am also excited to be Australia’s first Minister for Decentralisation. Getting people out of our congested cities and into our regions is a core priority of the National Party and something I have long supported.

Having clear policies and strategies to encourage more development and growth in our regional communities is key to the future of our regional families and youth, and the future prospects of our nation.

I also look forward to working with Local Governments to strengthen their communities.