Eden-Monaro MP Mike Kelly said the Coalition’s proposal for public service departments to justify their presence in Canberra could hurt “thousands” of small businesses in Southern NSW that economically depend on the capital’s population.
The government announced a policy on Wednesday that would force all federal departments to justify their continued presence and that of their portfolio agencies in Canberra and other capital cities or else face a forced move to rural or regional Australia.
On Thursday Mr Kelly said the growth in Canberra’s population had seen the region benefit through the establishment of the Canberra International Airport.
“This has resulted in a boost to our local tourism and enabled locally produced freight, including Sapphire Coast oysters, to be sent directly to the South East Asian market,” he said.
“The links between Canberra and Eden-Monoro have enabled me to win funding support from federal and state Labor for key infrastructure projects, like developing the Port of Eden.”
The comments come after Nationals deputy leader Fiona Nash announced that all departments would be assessed for "decentralisation" from Canberra and other cities.