Urban affairs off the federal agenda?

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A Cockatoo member recently asked for the name of the shadow Minister for Urban Affairs. Tough question. So I rang the Liberal Party HQ. ‘There isn’t one’ came the reply.

So I rang the Office of Warren Truss, shadow minister for infrastructure and transport. His staffer said that urban affairs is a state issue. ‘Not true!’ I countered. But she stuck to her guns and double-checked with another adviser – same message.

I respectfully suggested that the federal government MUST play in this field because of its responsibilities in the environment, infrastructure, building and planning codes, housing and community services etc. Still no traction, but we parted on cordial terms.

Urban councils need to an active interest here. At the very least, an Abbott Government needs a savvy young parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Infrastructure & Transport – to liaise with the States and local government and coordinate the many federal agencies in this critical area. This would allow Minister Truss to focus on the traditional love of the National Party.

We await developments with interest!!

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