Transcript - Move To More Campaign Launch Address

LIZ RITCHIE

It is now my duty to welcome the Deputy Prime Minister to officially launch our new campaign, Move to More. Thank you.

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Thank you Liz and I too acknowledge that we’re on Ngunnawal territory. I’m getting a nod – Wally says I’ve pronounced it right. Thank you, Wally, thank you for your moving Welcome to Country.

I acknowledge Mark Vaile, my great, great friend and former Deputy Prime Minister and I acknowledge each and every one of you. Life is run by those who turn up and you’ve turned up today. You’ve turned up to support this wonderful initiative. You’ve turned up because you care. You’ve turned up because you believe in regional Australia.

Just picture this, its 1993, Harden, a little racetrack. There’s a bloke who is about to ride his first ever race. His name is Scott Spackman. The horse is called Money Road, it’s the Harden Cup. He gets on board, he wins the race. He retires. One out of one. You can’t beat that – 100 per cent. This Saturday that same Scott Spackman will travel to Rosehill. He’d saddle up a horse called Rocket Tiger. Most of you probably wouldn’t have heard of it. It’s going to be running in the Golden Slipper. The punters say it’s got no chance, a complete outsider – one in 16 chance. But it’s in the race. It is a chance. It’s from Wagga Wagga, from my hometown. And I hope it wins. Because people in regional Australia and horses in regional Australia can do whatever they want to do. And I say Money Road, I recited that story because there is a money road and at the moment it leads straight to regional Australia. There is money to be made in regional Australia. And you can make good money. You can have a well-paying job and not just in agriculture, not just in mining, but in any area of endeavour that you so wish to choose.

Because the opportunities are limitless. The opportunities are there. The opportunities are right now awaiting those people, those punters, those opportunists, those believers who want to go to regional Australia.

The RAI, great organisation, has been around since 2012. I was at the foundation meetings. They have done so much good for regional Australia to promote, to advocate, to fight for, to believe in regional Australia. They have identified 54,000 jobs in regional Australia right now. I spoke to Peter Rodney yesterday. He’s one of the local businessmen. He’s got any number of jobs that he could fill. He owns a transport company. Unfortunately, he’s got 11 trucks backed up against the fence because he just can’t fill those jobs – just can’t fill those opportunities. And it’s not just the transport companies, it’s the law firms, it’s the accountancy practices, it’s in hospitality, it’s in health. And for those people who choose to Move to More, they will have a lifestyle like no other. They will come to a community that is big enough in which to get a good cup of coffee – and that’s important – yet small enough to still care. Now whether they’re the large regional capitals or whether they’re indeed, the small little vibrant towns that might have had their main street upgraded under some Government initiative, they are ready and willing and open and embracing for those city dwellers to come out.

Now 7,782 Sydneysiders who chose to come to the regions – mostly regional New South Wales but indeed, other regions as well – they can’t be wrong. That was the September quarter. They chose to make the move and if coronavirus has taught us just a couple of things, they are these. First of all, you can have a great lifestyle and a safe lifestyle in regional Australia because coronavirus has – yes, there’s been a few little cases in regional Australia but mostly they’ve been COVID-free. And that’s because regional Australians have been their best selves, taking the best medical advice but also doing what Premiers in far-off cities told them to do – social distancing and all those sort of things and they’ve kept their communities largely COVID-free and I say to them thanks. Thank you. A heart-felt thank you on behalf of the Commonwealth Government.

But the other thing too, is you can be in your lounge room, your kitchen, your bedroom and wearing a shirt and maybe shorts and whatever else and you can be in a boardroom in whatever capital city in Australia and still be contributing. Because one of the buzz words – one of those dreaded words – was Zoom. Probably nobody had even known the app or what it meant 18 months ago, but I tell you what, you all do now. For a politician, there’s no escape. Everybody thinks you’re available every minute they want. They snap their fingers, you’ve got to be available because they’ll go to do it on Zoom. But it’s great because it actually connected us to anyone anywhere in Australia, indeed, in the world. I thank NBEN, I know we have NBN representatives here today so thank you. And we also thank our other great clients, Nutrien Ag Solutions. It’s one of the big supporters. And you’ve got to support your supporters, so thank you to those two organisations in particular. But thank you to each and every one of you for coming out this morning because this is an important initiative. Yes, we’ve contributed some millions of dollars towards it, but I tell you what – if I was looking at a billboard and I was stuck in traffic in my daily commute of an hour and a half or perhaps even longer, stuck in capital city congestion, I tell you what, if I saw a billboard that said move to regional Australia where you’re seven minutes from anywhere and still get a good cup of coffee, I’d think about it. I’d go to movetomore.com.au and see what was available for me. Because the regions are there, they’re enticing, they’re fantastic. The communities are very friendly and you all know that because you’re here this morning.

So I do thank you for turning up. I do thank you for being present because, as I say, life is run by those who turn up. Over the next two days you’re going to have some fantastic deliberations. You’re going to be talking the talk and walking the walk about what’s great about regional Australia. As a regional MP that means a lot to me. And I’m sure I’m going to hear from Liz because once you give Liz your mobile number you know she’s going to use it. She’s going to tell me all about what’s going on, what you’ve said and what you’ve discussed and what you’ve determined.

I look forward to catching up tonight at your gala dinner. I’m really excited about this. How good is this that we’re all actually in the one room at the one time? Thank you to Wendy King, I mention her because she’s the event organiser, give her a clap.

[Applause]

Now I’m going to attempt something. I’m going to attempt something that’s going to be really exciting. Now apparently we’re going to have a bit of technology. What could possibly go wrong? So I think we’re going to be actually cutting the ribbon, the artificial figurative ribbon. So have we got – let’s all join in. Ready. Come on, you can do this. Ready, one, two, three – snip. Well done, each and every one of you. Move to More.

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