Senate inquiry could be a 'horse before cart' situation: Cr Hayes
EFFICIENT and effective delivery of services should be the nucleus of the public sector's move to regional Australia.
Central Highlands mayor Kerry Hayes (pictured) made this point following the Federal Government's call for rural areas to make their case as to why they are best suited to accommodate the public sector.
Cr Hayes said while it was fair to say any council would want to submit their region as a viable location for Federal Government departments, he believed the Senate inquiry could be a "horse before cart" situation.
"As a regional councillor I would say I would be very grateful for any opportunity to have a government public service come," Cr Hayes said.
"It would be great, especially places like Emerald and Blackwater where they have office facilities, and certainly in Emerald where ... there is a government building which is underutilised.
"From a State Government perspective we have an office which is effectively two-thirds empty.
"So I am grateful they want to do it, but think they would want to make the terms of reference clear of the benefits."
Cr Hayes agreed the Central Highlands would offer cheaper accommodation, but in the grand scheme of things this should not be the government's top priority as relatively speak- ing, it represented only a fraction of their budget.
Of his region's offerings, Cr Hayes said water, agriculture and resources topped the list.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry yesterday welcomed the employment opportunities and though it's early days, said the move had "every chance of actually happening".