Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has declared regional Australia’s future prosperity relies on major rail, road and communications spending.
Mr Albanese will on Wednesday unveil his latest policy vision statement in Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast.
The Labor leader argues genuine investment is needed in the nation’s regions, highlighting key infrastructure areas as crucial to growth.
“Roads. Railways. Communications. These are bridges to regional prosperity,” he will say.
“Swifter movement of goods and services around our nation boosts productivity. Greater productivity means more jobs. It’s that simple.”
Mr Albanese will refer to “smart regionalisation” over decentralisation, taking a shot at Nationals’ focus on relocating Canberra-based government departments.
“That’s the Barnaby Joyce fantasy model. It failed,” he will say.
He believes the hundreds of rail carriages needed to service major capital city projects should be built in regional Australia, which under Labor’s plan, would also be serviced by high speed rail.
“We’ll create jobs in regional Australia while boosting our manufacturing skills base.”
The draft speech is critical of the copper wire NBN, labelling it “one of the most costly exercises in nostalgia” the country has seen.
“World-class communications technology can literally banish the tyranny of distance as a handbrake on growth in regional and rural areas,” Mr Albanese will say.
He will also address the vexed issue of resources after Labor copped swings against it across mining communities in regional Queensland and parts of NSW.
The federal opposition leader says the future is in renewable energy, while acknowledging exports will continue to meet demands of other nations.
“In coming decades, we must position our nation to be a major player in the clean energy industries that continue to grow in importance over time.”
Mr Albanese will call for a boost to regional health services and a greater focus on what’s driving poor outcomes in rural and remote areas.