ALBURY mayor Kevin Mack would love the treasury department to shift from Canberra as part of the federal government’s jobs decentralisation push.
Deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has created tremors in the capital over his eagerness to shift public servants out of Canberra.
He moved to reassure ACT nerves with an example of where he would stop.
“We won't be moving the Treasury Department to Albury,” Mr Joyce said.
“That is obvious.
“There is some hyperventilation by certain areas and I think it is for parochialism.”
The Canberra Times Friday front page then featured a photograph of Mr Joyce alongside his Albury quote.
With his tongue in cheek, Cr Mack welcomed the prospect of the nation’s budget boffins being in his city.
“We’d take the treasury department, their staff and their people,” Cr Mack said.
“It would be a great coup for Albury.
“We’ve got the tax office, there’s a lot of synergy with the money.
“We’ll take anything if it means more money for Albury-Wodonga.”
On a serious note, Cr Mack said while governments championed decentralisation they had to support it adequately.
“Both state and federal governments are talking it up and one would open they are genuine about their policy because people aren’t just going to move, there’s got to be incentives,” Cr Mack said.
As the chairman of Evocities, a group of inland NSW cities promoting regional living, Mr Mack is hoping that group will receive more money for promotion as part of the decentralisation drive.
“It’s about taking the leap of faith and trying the regions, it’s pretty obvious cost of living is less in the regions than it is in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne,” Cr Mack said.
The Productivity Commission this week released a report questioning the impact of decentralisation.
"Attempts to relocate employment as a form of regional assistance can have unintended consequences, and each instance needs to be considered in its own right," the commission wrote.
"The nature of the skills required in relocation proposals is critical.
"Where the skill requirements are highly technical and specific, relocation to a region might diminish the organisation's effectiveness.”