Tag: Purple Papers

Real support for regional growth

Real support for regional growth

VotE Purple Paper Issue 2: 13 January 2019

Ensuring the Dubbo electorate has the support it needs for regional growth and investment is paramount in my endeavour to produce results as I campaign to become your independent representative. Several initiatives are currently in place to highlight the wonderful areas we have in this electorate; however, funding has been made scarce over time and we risk losing the full potential these organisations have to offer.

Organisations such as Evocities, Regional Development Australia Orana and Regional Capitals Australia are essential in developing the hidden treasures this electorate possesses, but as with any organisation funding is crucial.


All State funding has been removed from Evocities despite proven results of over 3,500 households relocating across the seven regional cities as a known direct result of the program. The funding for the initiative is currently being entirely left to the seven Councils despite the obvious benefits to the government of reducing the population pressure in Sydney.

As a former Chair of Evocities and as the founder of the richest MTB series in the nation based around the Evocities concept, I saw first hand the exceptional results that were being achieved by Evocities. If successful come the election I will propose the government matches the Evocities funding contributed by the Councils meaning a government contribution of $560,000 in the next financial year.

Regional Development Australia Orana (RDA) is in its tenth year of operation in what once was an organisation jointly funded by the Federal and State Governments. A year ago, this State Government removed all funding from RDA. If a government is serious about regional development it needs to provide the funds to promote that regional development. RDA Orana was previously funded to the tune of $150,000 annually.

The removal of this income has pushed RDA Orana to generate income via fee for service work which includes RDA Orana charging to bring people from overseas to work in regional areas. With unemployment in Sydney sitting at four per cent, there are over 200,000 people in Sydney looking for work. Providing funds to an organisation such as RDA Orana to facilitate the movement of people and businesses from metro areas to regional areas makes more sense than sourcing people from overseas. If elected, I would propose to reinstate funding to RDA Orana and increase the figure to $200,000 to allow them to concentrate on growing regional areas.

Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) is another organisation that I have observed from both the inside and the outside. Dubbo City Council joined RCA soon after its formation in 2012 and I sat on the board shortly thereafter. Across the 50 regional capitals in Australia the population is similar to that of a Sydney or a Melbourne and the regional capitals contribute $225 billion every year to the Australian economy.

This organisation, which promotes and represents regional capitals across the nation, is funded by Member Councils, once again leaving the burden of regional promotion to Councils. If elected, I would propose that the government matches the contribution made by the Councils in NSW therefore allowing RCA to contribute more research and better outcomes to the regional capitals across Australia.

These initiatives come at a cost to the government but if any government is serious about regional development, that government needs to put money on the table. Increasing growth in regional areas will allow areas in the electorate to maintain services and businesses such as health, banking and government services. It will make it easier to justify additional expenditure on infrastructure and it will ease the burden on the growing population of Sydney. It is also relevant to think of the miniscule cost to the government of these initiatives compared to the $4.3 billion this government has been prepared to spend on light rail and new stadia in Sydney. Regional growth does not need light rail or new stadia. It needs a government prepared to back regional areas.

With ongoing funding from the State Government, these three organisations can promote career and lifestyle, easing of financial pressures, community and family, and investment in regional capitals. Many areas in this electorate have the capacity to accommodate further growth and are a viable and immediate option to address the crippling congestion issues in metro areas. Unemployment rates are low across this electorate and there is surplus housing availability allowing growth to occur immediately.

Councillor Kevin Mack, mayor of Albury and chair of Evocities, said Evocities is no longer simply a market platform, but an invaluable initiative which is producing results by penetrating the metro market.

“Our research has shown that people will often be attracted to the larger city in an area, such as Dubbo, but then move out to the surrounding towns so although Evocities has a focus on the central city it also delivers benefits to the surrounding towns, such as Wellington and Narromine,” he said.

Councillor Mack believes independent representation will prove beneficial in moving forward. “As an independent you have a stronger voice for your electorate, provide the community access to your office and provide information to the government of the day. How can they ignore that,” he said.

Mayor Shane Van Styn, mayor of the City of Greater Geraldton and Deputy Chair of RCA said his organisation plays a vital role in growing regional capital cities by advocating for more investment to occur in regional Australia. “Research commissioned RCA made the case for businesses and people to move from major capital cities into regional Australia, creating more jobs and ensuring more services and important infrastructure is funded by the Australian Government,” Mayor Van Styn Said.

Fighting for 24-hour policing in two towns an election promise

Fighting for 24-hour policing in two towns an election promise

VotE Purple Paper Issue 1: 30 December 2018 

As the independent candidate for the Dubbo electorate, I pledge to fight for 24-hour policing in Narromine and Wellington if I am successful in the 2019 state election after identifying public safety as a top priority. I promise to be the ‘voice of the people’ in an ongoing push by residents for increased policing in both towns after I have learnt of the public’s desperate state during my continuing listening tour of the electorate.

These communities deserve 24-hour policing and the community feedback has been incredibly strong. I am but the voice of the people and people are frustrated and concerned with the lack of resourcing.


Wellington resident and President of the Wellington Business Chamber, Barry Jefferyis pleased to learn that I will join the fight for a 24-hour police station.

“Wellington Police numbers have been low for too long and the people of Wellington have had enough. Many people have been robbed on multiple occasions and many elderly people live in fear of leaving their homes empty for even a short time. The people of Wellington are tax paying citizens and deserve better. Wellington now has two correctional centres which creates extra work for the already over worked police officers of this town and often leaves the people of Wellington without a quick response Police presence,” Mr Jeffery said.

Kat Barnes, Coordinator Narromine Crime & Neighbourhood Watch, is also of the belief a 24-hour police station would bring a much-needed sense of security to community members who are concerned for the safety of their family and property. “Police presence in our town conveys a positive message to residents, especially those who have been victims of crime. Increased hours, more officers and better response times are CRITICAL for Narromine right now. I believe 24-hour policing is not much to ask considering the amount of crime occurring in our community,” Ms Barnes said.

Local businessman, Ron Moore, continued the sentiment of frustration. “Unfortunately, our local criminals appear wiser than the current local Member gives them credit for with the majority of crimes taking place when the Police Station is shut. The current Government has let down their constituents and the Wellington community by failing to provide a 24-hour Police Station.”

I endeavour to represent each community until a resolution of the public’s satisfaction is established. The current Government has had almost eight years to solve this issue but have meekly accepted the lack of resources.

My intention is to use my position, if elected as a representative for this electorate, to continue to push for this outcome until it is resolved to the satisfaction of both communities. It is simply not good enough to accept that towns the size of Wellington and Narromine should accept less than 24-hour policing. Too often regional areas are told that we need to accept lower levels of service. I will continue to fight for equity and fairness and ensuring that regional areas are given a fair go.

Issues from the Listening Tour

Issues from the Listening Tour

VotE Purple Paper Issue 0: 8 December 2018

Mathew has spent 200 days listening… What has he heard?

Here are the stats so far. 200 days of campaigning. Almost 23,000km travelled. Over 1,000 meetings held. More than half of the localities in the electorate have received a personal knock on the door. Combining the old-fashioned shoe-leather with electronic forms of communication and you gain an impression of the effort being made. More than 8,000 followers on social media channels stay in touch with daily activities plus countless social media interactions; over 3,000 telephone conversations and more than 2,000 e-mails received gives an idea of the energy and accessibility of the potential next State Member.

As Mathew has travelled the width and breadth of this electorate, one thing has been made abundantly clear. People want their voices heard by their elected representatives whom they want to be genuine and authentic.




“As I travel the electorate, people often ask me for the common theme across the electorate. The electorate is large: 17,352.89 square kilometres. That is only five per cent smaller in area than the entire country of Fiji! Across such a large area, issues are bound to be different and it has proven to be so. By travelling to all parts of the electorate, I am able to hear what is important to different people in different areas. I have identified a number of issues that are regularly raised by people,” Mathew Dickerson said.“There are some key messages across the electorate but the reality is that Bronwyn in Lue has different needs to Mark in Gin Gin. Peter in Euchareena has needs that are different to Megan in Eumungerie. The electorate is diverse and varied. One size does not fit all but there are some key messages coming through.”

Mathew will maintain his discussions across the electorate to ensure that, if elected, he will be its true representative and ensure its voices are heard loud and clear in State Parliament.

The purpose of VotE Purple Paper Issue 0 is to identify the main issues that Mr Dickerson has heard in his travels. Over the coming months of the election campaign, he will add to this list and will release a series of Purple Papers that drill down into the issues and he will invite public feedback on each of those VotE Purple Papers. In this way, if elected, Mr Dickerson can hit the ground running and be ready from day one with the issues that matter to people in this electorate.

The main issues identified that will be explored in subsequent Purple Papers are listed at the end of this document. These are issues that were noted multiple times by different residents and people that Mr Dickerson met should be able to see issues they discussed in this group. Mr Dickerson will develop specific papers around these issues but still welcomes more feedback as the election draws nearer.

Safety of Residents

  • Crime prevention solutions to keep residents safe.
  • 24-hour policing in required towns and cities.

Power, Mining, Renewables and the Environment

  • Recognition that Climate Change is real and the need to develop relevant long-term strategies.
  • Balance mining income with environmental impacts.
  • Coal Seam Gas – moratorium until further research has been conducted.
  • Power pricing balanced against the future of the environment.
  • Renewable energy strategies and development with recognition of best use of prime agricultural land.

Roads and Transport

  • Road network upgrades to a better standard across the electorate particularly with links to mines.
  • Holistic transport solutions to improve connectivity such as a tunnel under the Mountains.
  • Review freight way (ring road) options for highway traffic in relevant locations.
  • Improve public transport links including rail; air and bus.
  • Work with the Federal Government to review the processes involved with Inland Rail.
  • Look at potential to re-open unused railway lines for regional tourism and transport.
  • Develop a business model for the State to take advantage of Inland Rail.


  • Holistic long-term drought strategies planned in ‘good times’ and a permanent drought coordinator.
  • Equity in the treatment of farmers in relevant drought strategies.
  • Drought strategies for businesses in regional locations.
  • Water management including water allocations and metering methods.
  • Develop education offerings for farmers to improve knowledge in a changing landscape.

Regional Development

  • Improved funding for regional development including Evocities; RDA and Payroll Tax subsidies.
  • Effective decentralisation strategies to improve regional growth.
  • Improvement in regional communication infrastructure both in mobile and Internet.
  • Encourage city residents to move to regional areas before immigration is utilised.
  • Look at unemployment rates in different areas (some high, some low) and associated skills.
  • Look for decentralisation opportunities such as CATOs.


  • Access to city-like health facilities in regional areas.
  • Access to mental health support in regional areas.
  • Complementary rather than competing health facilities in neighbouring cities.


  • Look at museums and history across the electorate to preserve our heritage.
  • Develop further tourism offerings particularly in areas with high mining employment.
  • Develop further tourism offerings such as rail trails.


  • Review school and tertiary education offerings in the electorate.
  • Development of better strategies for developing traineeships and apprenticeships.


  • Streamlining grant and funding application processes for individuals; small groups and Councils.
  • Develop strategies to improve communication from government departments and improve transparency so residents better understand decisions.
  • Deliver faster payments to individuals and organisations who have their grants and subsidies approved.


  • Improved sporting fields in smaller communities.
  • Improve business opportunities and CBD growth in smaller communities.