PM backs government success in Downs
PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited Dalby on Saturday, praising the Maranoa in his speech.
Mr Turnbull, flanked by federal member for Maranoa David Littleproud, highlighted the success of the Darling Downs while having a drink with the locals at Mary's Commercial Hotel.
The Prime Minister spent a little over an hour talking to patrons, who asked questions ranging from cattle trading to drugs.
In a speech to the crowd, it was his government's efforts to open up free trade markets that was the focus of his address.
"We know that Australians are the best, we know what we produce is the best,” Mr Turnbull said.
"We want to have the biggest and most open playing fields to run on to, because when we can compete on a level playing field we know we will win.”
Mr Turnbull highlighted free trade deals with Asian markets such as China, Korea and Japan as the opportunities needed for farmers and producers to thrive in the Darling Downs.
"There is a new airport that is taking the great produce from the Downs to the dining tables,” he said.
"You've got the best produce in the world and we now have bigger and bigger export markets.”
The issue of energy, which has been in the spotlight recently in the Dalby region, was not missed by the Prime Minister, who took the opportunity to criticise Labor's proposed policies.
"We've seen the Labor Party with their highly political, Greens-influenced ideological approach to energy, with renewable targets they have not worked out how to deliver,” he said.
"We've seen the catastrophe in South Australia, which poor South Australians they've got the most expensive and the least reliable electricity in Australia as a consequence.”
Mr Turnbull said his government was working towards a reform that utilised all energy sources while making it affordable.
"We are working to deliver a reform to our national energy market that ensures that we have energy security, the affordability that we need and we take advantage of all of the new technologies, solar and wind and hydro and storage.
"And, of course, coal and gas right across the board.”
This concluded a big weekend for the Western Downs, with the Prime Minister attending the Bell Show earlier in the day.
When asked why the Prime Minister had made the sudden appearance in Dalby, Mr Littleproud said Mr Turnbull was listening to the concerns of all Australians.
"The people of Bell, the people of Dalby are just as precious and their voices are just as precious as the people of Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane,” Mr Littleproud said.
"The PM is getting around the country, listening to people in regional and rural Australia. Understanding the issues that are there for us but also understanding the key economic point that we play in this nation's economy.”