Malcolm Turnbull has once again put his political interests ahead of the people living in regional Australia.

Turnbull’s decision to split the roles of regional development and regional communications at such a critical time show just how out of touch this Government really is.

Regional Australia needs more than temporary Ministers who just keep the lights on.

Minister Fifield, the acting Minister for Regional Communications, has shown no interest in fixing the problems with the NBN in regional Australia or cleaning up the rorts in the Mobile Blackspot Program.

Darren Chester, who already has a significant portfolio, will now also be saddled with:

  • Cleaning up the gross mismanagement of the Community Development Grants which has been referred to the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) for audit.
  • Removing the log jams in the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages, which has been operational for over 12 months but has yet to spent any money on job creating projects.
  • Ensuring Round 3 of the Mobile Blackspot Program isn’t a repeat of the wasteful mistakes exposed in the ANAO audit of Round 1.

With higher unemployment, lower wages, poorer internet and mobile services; regional communities can’t wait for the Government to sort out its internal mess.

Regional communities deserve better than part-time Ministers keeping the seats warm. Turnbull must reconsider this decision and appoint a full-time Minister to the roles of Regional Development and Regional Communications today.