Malcolm Turnbull and Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.
Malcolm Turnbull and Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.

Opinion: Canberra chaos threatens Pitt's signature policies

By editor Adam Wratten

THE Canberra fiasco is putting at risk Hinkler MP Keith Pitt's signature policies.

To demonstrate my point, let me suggest a hypothetical conversation.

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It involves a hypothetical staffer from Mr Pitt's office and a hypothetical constituent whose family member is unemployed and looking for work.

Staffer: "Yes, we know jobs are important.

"Creating jobs and economic opportunities is Mr Pitt's number one focus at the moment.

"Our plan is to put together a Regional Cities Deal.

"This brings everyone together and we create a plan to deliver great results for this region.


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. MICK TSIKAS

"You only have to look at Townsville to see how many jobs it created there.

"Of course, you can play your part. We need to show the community is on board with this game-changing deal.

"If you sign our petition, it will be another signature which will prove to the Prime Minister just how much support we have to get this over the line.

"Can we add your name to Mr Pitt's petition?"

Worried consituent: "Of course, I'll do what I can to help my loved one get a job, so they don't have to leave town. So who are we taking this too again...the Prime Minister? What's happening in that space?"

The focus is clearly shifting from what's important to our region and to the chaos currently being played out in our nation's capital.

Mr Pitt has two signature policies he's truly invested in:

The first is the Regional Cities Deal.

The second is the Cashless Debit Card.

Ironically, the second issue has been debated in the Senate these past couple of days.

It's not going to be passed before any future leadership vote.


Former Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton.
Former Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton. MICK TSIKAS

Who wins today's leadership contest, if it goes ahead, could lead to a quick federal election.

Even before the events of this week, the bookies had Labor a firm favourite to form the next government, so where will that leave the Cashless Debit Card and Regional Cities Deal?

Given we know Labor is against the card and is only now starting to make some noise about what it would do in this region, we could once again find ourselves losing out in a big way.

These two deals are too important not to have been given the due consideration that's required.

I hope politics doesn't get in the way of progressing this wonderful region.

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