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Crossbencher calls out government on rural policy

An influential federal crossbencher has introduced a bill to create an Office for Regional Australia after the Morrison government dismissed a report calling for greater support for Australia’s regional universities.

The government responded to the report by saying that it was “already acting” to deliver increased funding, but crossbencher Cathy McGowan described this as “inadequate” and introduced a bill to give rural communities more input into federal policy decisions.

The bill sets out a plan to create a federal Office for Regional Australia that would provide advice to government on rural policy issues such as education, health, regional planning, R&D and infrastructure. 

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