The Nationals WA spearheaded motions to streamline the visa system for agricultural workers, improve regional mobile phone coverage, and provide greater transparency around car safety at The National Party’s 2021 Federal Conference on March 26-28.
Deputy Leader Shane Love said ten delegates from The Nationals WA travelled to Canberra over the weekend to champion a number of policy motions important to regional families and businesses.
“These motions related to a range of important issues for WA including communications and media, transport and infrastructure, primary industry and food security and the environment,” Mr Love said.
A new agricultural visa pathway to streamline entry into Australia in the aftermath of COVID-19 could help attract important overseas workers back to WA.
“The current visa process is restrictive and costly for unskilled working-holiday makers or backpackers who provide essential support for our agriculture and horticulture sectors,” Mr Love said.
“The agricultural sector right across Australia is experiencing a critical worker shortage, so it’s important that we make the process of attracting workers as easy as possible once international travel resumes.
“This will help our essential industries and have economic benefits across Australia, but particularly in regional areas where our food and fibre industries are primarily located,” he said.
The Nationals WA also called on the Federal Government to improve mobile coverage and digital connectivity for regional communities and businesses.
“Despite the good work done to date, WA still has large numbers of mobile blackspots and insecure mobile networks,” Mr Love said.
“Our motion calls on the Federal Government to develop minimum network standards for mobile performance and introduce initiatives like standalone power solutions to improve network reliability.”
The Nationals WA also backed an RAC-supported proposal to extend ANCAP safety ratings to new and used cars at the point of sale to increase consumer awareness of vehicle safety.
“Car safety is a major factor when purchasing a vehicle, yet there is no requirement to display vehicle safety ratings on new or used cars.
The cheapest and most effective way to ensure our road users are safe is to ensure consumers make informed decisions about the vehicles they drive,” Mr Love said.
The Nationals WA also passed motions calling for greater protections from cyber-attacks for small businesses and to expand the phase-out of HFC gases to include synthetic HFCs by 2024.
Successful motions will be incorporated into the Federal National Party platform to inform policy development.