Fraser wants Forestry HQ moved to Coffs

By DAVID MOASE

COFFS Harbour would make an ideal headquarters for NSW Forestry, according to State MP Andrew Fraser.

Following the announcement by Opposition leader John Brogden this week that a Coalition government in NSW would move some departments out of Sydney and into regional areas, Mr Fraser said he would be pushing for Coffs Harbour to be considered as a new base.

Two of the departments flagged by Mr Brogden for relocation are the National Parks and Wildlife Service based in Hurstville and NSW Forestry in Pennant Hills.

"I think Coffs Harbour would be an ideal base for NSW Forestry," Mr Fraser said.

"We have the property here on the north coast and the State Forests plantations. Having State Forests based in Pennant Hills is crazy. Coffs Harbour is also a good site for the headquarters because of our air services which give us good accessibility to the rest of the state."

Mr Fraser said Coffs Harbour would be an attractive destination for public servants relocated from Sydney.

"We can offer staff a quality of lifestyle that is far better than what they enjoy in Sydney," he said.

"There are also educational facilities such as Southern Cross University."

Mr Brogden and acting Nationals leader Don Page put forward the plan to move some government departments as part of a reform program to benefit regional NSW.

"The reform program will begin to tackle Labor's high-taxing regime by cutting payroll tax and eradicating Labor Government waste and duplication," Mr Brogden said.

"It will end Labor's ongoing treatment of people in country New South Wales as second class citizens.

"A Liberal/Nationals Coalition will move public sector activities out of Sydney which will provide more people around the State with the chance to participate in public sector employment and generate greater economic activity in regional communities.

"Government departments and agencies will be required to justify why they should not be relocated to regional areas."

A Coalition government would cut public service jobs by up to 25 per cent and reduce payroll tax.



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