Regional editors led the push for a fair go for Queensland and NSW regions last year.
Regional editors led the push for a fair go for Queensland and NSW regions last year.

We’re broadening our fight for regions

OUR big sister has joined the fight for a fair go for regional Queensland.  

Readers of this paper's sister publication, the Brisbane-based Courier- Mail, are likely to have seen the launch of a significant campaign this week - Go Queensland.  

As Courier-Mail editor Lachlan Heywood told his staff in an email before the launch:

"We kick off the second phase of our Go Queensland campaign, this time exploring the growing divide between south-east Queensland and our big regional cities".  

Their work this week, and from what I've seen and heard in the background of what will come out next week, further proves the disparities between metro areas like Brisbane and what is happening in the regions.  

And in a state like Queensland, where the majority of the population does not live in the capital city, it means that when things are bad in the regions, they are generally bad in the state.  

Opportunities in health and education, employment and wealth are limited, and the central thrust of the Courier-Mail's investigations validates the Fair Go for Regional Australia campaign that this paper championed during the Federal Election.

That push proved a great success.

As the politicians begged for votes, the money flowed.

A new stadium for Townsville, a new carpark for Rockhampton hospital and a flash new emergency wing for the Tweed hospital.  

The power of the press in bringing these issues to the fore is still formidable.  

It is to the Courier-Mail's credit they are looking over the fence and casting further light on the issue.  

And it begs the question: When will the politicians take the regions seriously?  

Just this week we've seen the release of the annual Closing the Gaps report, which again showed slow progress to improve the health and wealth of indigenous Australians.  

Regional Australia needs similar focus.

Until politicians understand that throwing money to those who shout loudest is not the ideal way to solve things, it's hard to see the regions getting parity.  

In a few months, we'll have State politicians running around asking for your vote.

The money will be showered where the votes are most in doubt.  

At least we'll keep the focus on the bigger picture, and have the comfort of knowing Big Sister will be there with us.