The Baird Government’s new State Priorities have completely abandoned regional NSW – failing to mention country areas once or even refer to any area outside of Sydney.

Demonstrating a total failure of the National Party to represent the interests of rural and regional communities within government, the new priorities make no mention of agriculture, primary industries, rural affairs or regional development. 

When pressed in Question Time today, Deputy Premier Troy Grant revealed he had been consulted on the new priorities - indicating the National Party knew all references to regional NSW would be scrapped.  

Earlier this week, the Government scrapped 321 state targets for the sake of 30 ‘priority areas’ – none of which make any reference to regional NSW. 

The Government has scrapped its key strategic goal of driving economic growth in regional NSW, which was previously supported by targets and priority actions to: 

  • Increase the share of jobs in regional NSW;
  • Increase the population in regional NSW by 470,000 by 2036; and
  • Protect strategic agricultural land and improve agricultural productivity.

The Government has also dumped other goals which had previously referred to regional NSW, including: 

  • Increased investment in regional infrastructure and rural roads;
  • Delivering the Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program;
  • Delivering wireless internet hotspots in rural and regional libraries;
  • Supporting country racing and investing in regional arts and cultural development;
  • Increasing the number of floodplain risk management plans available to support emergency management; and
  • Maintain preparedness to deal with biosecurity threats.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“It is absolutely stunning that in a list of 30 State Priorities the Baird Government didn’t bother to mention rural and regional NSW even once.” 

“This Sydney-centric Government has produced a plan for the state which totally ignores agriculture, primary industries, rural affairs and regional development – it’s a slap in the face to regional NSW.” 

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Regional Development David Harris 

“Families across regional NSW are doing it tough amid mounting job insecurity and our state’s two-speed economy – but their cries for support and leadership from the Baird Government are falling on deaf ears.” 

“To any family living in rural and regional NSW, this Coalition Government looks completely out of touch.”