No one should be surprised by today's Newspoll which shows a fall in support for the Coalition in rural and regional Australia.

Almost every decision taken in the 2014 Budget and since has had a disproportionally adverse impact on people living in the regions.

Decisions like the backpacker tax show the Government takes regional communities for granted. They are all spin, no policy substance, and it is now catching up with them after three long years.

Dairy farmers, horticulturalists and those who have been affected by drought feel deserted and unsupported. 

Productivity in agriculture remains flat, profitability is poor in most sectors and Australia is losing global market share. Barnaby Joyce’s much anticipated White Paper provided no strategic long-term vision.

Jobs in our abattoirs are falling because of a shortage in cattle but Barnaby Joyce's only response is to rejoice in it and wrongly take credit for high beef prices.

Meanwhile, his ill-conceived relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to his own electorate is nothing more than pork-barrelling.

Budget cuts in health and education have hit regional communities hardest.

In rural and regional Australia, Malcolm Turnbull's NBN is a bad joke.

Country Australia is looking for strong leadership at a time of both challenge and opportunity, but all they see in the Turnbull Government is confusion and dysfunction.


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