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ACCORDING to independent candidate for the federal seat of Lyne Rob Oakeshott there are a number of challenging issues facing the Mid North Coast and a lot of areas that can certainly be improved upon.
“The best way to know how our region is doing in contrast to other areas around Australia, is through the analysis of the 2006 Census data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Average Weekly Incomes
“For example, when we compare the average weekly earnings for our area, whether by individual, family or household incomes, the Mid North Coast is well below the average for the rest of Australia and we have been stuck there for over a decade, said Mr Oakeshott.
“The same can be said for unemployment rates, which are 40% higher than the national average.
“So my goal and my ambition if elected, is to work to improve this situation in relation to the national averages for income, for education standards, and for many health indicators. We can actually benchmark how we are doing through the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and at the moment, we’ve got a lot of work to do to improve.”
“Another of my goals is to lift pension rates as much as possible, as soon as possible. – and not just for the needy singles, but also for couples, carers, and disability pensions as well. This needs to be done in a sensible, structured way and a way that acknowledges our rapidly ageing population. There is no doubting, however, that there are many people on pensions in the Mid-North Coast who are hurting. I sincerely hope to continue as the Patron of the local Combined Pensioners and Superannuants group to try and get better results out of Canberra on this particular concern.”
“And we can also improve on our local health services” Mr Oakeshott continued.
“We must work to change the national policy that sees a doctor in Wauchope or Kendall receive less money, for treating the same number of patients, as a doctor in Coffs Harbour or in Noosa. We can also attract more Aged Care facilities to the region. By attracting more GP’s and by improving Aged Care facilities, we can then lessen pressures on each of the Emergency departments in each of the four local hospitals while working on building improvements at each of these same hospitals.”
“Finally we can start to be a leader on energy in regional Australia. Along with exploring the feasibility of a gas pipeline to the region, we should push hard on solar energy solutions including the re-instatement of rebates for solar panels, and also push for a better feed-in tariff so as to promote the industry” said the independent candidate.
“ We should also continue the discussions on solar thermal energy as part of the energy mix for the region, and to really stake our claim as the region that is serious about energy efficiency. This can also be benchmarked by the trendline on energy consumption for the region and our successes/failures will be available for all to see.”
“I therefore ask for your support this Saturday, so we can build a clear, positive, local agenda together. We all want to enhance our region. By having a working relationship with the Government of the day, we will have the best chance of getting much needed results for our area.
“ Please, if you value the future of our region, don’t put our area back into Opposition. Vote for the Independent Team who represents the community, not a political part” Mr Oakeshott concluded.
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