A regular complaint of those living in regional Australia is that federal politics and policies are aimed at metropolitan voters, often at the cost of those in rural areas. Granted, it is quite hard to argue that bans on live cattle exports, some environmental regulations, pie-in-the-sky Northern Territory “special economic zones”, and resource rent taxes are being pushed by regional voters.
The National Party pitches itself as the voice of regional Australia. But according to Russell Bate, Chairman of the Country Alliance Party, The National’s formal alliance with the Liberal Party has left many regional voters feeling underrepresented. As part of the Minor Parties series I produced for the Community Radio Network, I spoke with Mr Bate about regional issues and the Country Alliance Party: