For what and for whom are we really voting at the October 14 Murray by-election?
The uniqueness of the seat of Murray is that most of its income and employment is directly and indirectly related to agricultural pursuits and irrigation water.
Your career, your potential or current employment will be somehow linked to the availability of irrigation water or agribusiness performance, as will your major asset - your home value.
Service and health industries, manufacturing and engineering, logistics and education all underpin agriculture in one way or another.
So the crucial question is: what party or candidate is most skilled and best-placed to protect the status quo, or more importantly, maximise opportunities for local industries, your career and home asset value to grow and prosper?
Communities and townships throughout the Murray electorate are affected by decisions taken at three levels of government – Federal, State and Local government
It makes clear sense that Murray is represented politically by an MP and a party who can operate effectively across all three levels.
The Labor Party’s proposal to take a further 450,000ml of irrigation water from the Murray Darling Basin - especially if most of this water could be accessed by irrigation schemes in the Murray electorate - would be disastrous and potentially ruinous for local communities and you as a constituent.
Be very careful with your vote in this by-election.
Make sure you have an understanding of the facts and the policies each party is putting forward and inform yourself of the important questions that must be asked.
So, what are we really voting for?
I urge you to get across all the facts before you go to the polling booth, and then cast a vote to help ensure a better future for Murray.
Don’t vote yourself, your children or your neighbour out of a job with an uninformed protest vote.
NBN is up to scratch
I write regarding last week’s front page story about the amount of data available on NBN Sky Muster satellite.
I announced huge amounts of data had begun flowing - there are now two plans offering 200 gigabytes of peak time data a month and many others offering 150 gigabytes of peak time data a month plus an extra 150 gigabytes of data a month off peak.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal average Australian total use per home per month is 130 gigabytes, so Sky Muster is providing much more data than that. It's a great result for the 3 per cent of Australians - mostly rural and remote, including those in the outback and on remote islands - who receive this service, many of whom would never get broadband any other way.
The extra data was applauded by rural internet groups.
Further, the service has 87 per cent less outages than it did last September.
We inherited Sky Muster from Labor but we've now got it working well.
Minister for Regional Communications
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