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2 March, 2022

Parkes federal election hot seat

On Friday, February 25, Jack Ayoub who was born and grew up in Coonabarabran, was endorsed as the Labor candidate for Parkes, to run against National’s Mark Coulton in this year’s federal election.

By Supplied

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Mr Coulton, the current federal member for Parkes, announced he would once again contest the seat of Parkes after being pre-selected as the Nationals’ candidate for the sixth time in May last year.

Mr Ayoub contested the seat of Parkes for the first time at the previous federal election 2019.

Mr Ayoub shared with Gilgandra Newspapers his stance on the following key issues going into the election:


Mr Ayoub said his emphasis was on ensuring there’s sufficient social housing that is located and built in a way that is sensitive to place.

“People shouldn’t have to move or feel a sense of dislocation in order to have secure housing.

“Fortunately, the Labor Party has committed $10 billion to the issue of social housing across the nation, allowing us to draw upon that in addressing the needs of the Parkes electorate.”

He said he wants to ensure that towns throughout the electorate have enough housing stock to attract professionals and service people.

“This will also alleviate the current issue of exorbitant rental prices that are compounding the issues involved in the cost of living.”

He said the construction of houses is set to create hundreds of jobs, many of which will be fulfilled by apprentices. He said the above policy will assist in addressing the pressing issue of domestic violence. In addition to this, he supports the Labor Party’s initiative of creating 250 community sector worker positions throughout regional Australia.


Mr Ayoub said he seeks to ensure that the communities across Parkes have the resources to accommodate people that seek to upskill, learn a trade, and further their education.

He said the Labor Party is doing this by lowering the cost of tafe courses, particularly in the fields of hospitality and construction.

The Labor Party is also set to invest almost 500 million into the nation’s school system, ensuring that basic amenities are upgraded in line with the needs of students.

Mr Ayoub said he also seeks to ensure that university students have the opportunity to remain in their community whilst completing their university degree.

This can be achieved with the help of innovative enterprises like the ‘Country University Centre’ which is servicing the community of Narrabri to great effect.


Mr Ayoub said he upholds Labor’s position on climate change.

“We are of the view that there is a significant economic imperative, and a strong business case to be made in favour of addressing climate change; in cutting emissions, we have the capacity to unlock 600,000 jobs, while also bringing down the household power bill by as much as $300.”

Economy Mr Ayoub said he wants to make sure there are ample job opportunities for people in the Parkes electorate. Aside from providing sufficient housing for workers, he seeks to fulfil this agenda by rebuilding Australia’s manufacturing industry, supporting tradespeople and apprentices, ensuring that the government works actively to recruit apprentice tradespeople, and by making childcare cheaper for working parents.

He said furthermore, it was imperative in a thriving regional economy to have access to reliable internet. In recognition of this, he supports the Labor Party’s policy of boosting access to The NBN.

Mr Ayoub, a Kamilaroi man, said “First Nations people stand to benefit from all of the policies that have been outlined above. From a great supply of social housing and a greater number of community workers, to a reduction in the cost of an apprenticeship, the Indigenous community stand to benefit considerably.”

Mr Ayoub said with his grandmother being an Indigenous elder of Coonamble, he has intimate connection to the needs of his community, and makes it his personal priority to reflect those needs in all of his advocacy.


Mr Coulton told Gilgandra Newspapers “my goals are to grow on what we’ve done and if I had to identify a problem I think we need to overcome, it’s our lack of people”.

“We’ve got enormous opportunities through pretty well every occupation from the professions - health professionals, aged care, education right through all the trades, and agriculture. We have enormous opportunities in front of us, but to reach our full potential we need more people,” said Mr Coulton.

He said five-or-six-years-ago the towns were giving away free rental to encourage people to come, as opposed to currently the challenge is accommodating the increasing population to make sure they’ve got the services they require when they relocate.

Mr Coulton said he has been working with organisations like the Regional Australia Institute to promote the region to fellow Australians but also working with the minister for immigration to make sure there aren’t artificial impediments in place so that we can get skilled migrants to come in.

“I firmly believe that skilled migrants not only will help with our workforce issues but add to the culture and liveability of country towns,” said Mr Coulton.

He told Gilgandra Newspapers the three main issues he saw as necessary to address this problem were Connectivity Mr Coulton said the NBN rollout, satellite services, plus the other data services were priorities.

He said “connectivity is improving and we’ve got to keep pressure on telecommunications companies to make sure they’re upgrading their services”.

“That’s enabling a lot of people with one member of the family gets a job in a country town, the other one can keep their job somewhere else by working remotely.”


Mr Coulton said “we’re working on a permanent solution. In the past years we’ve paid locum relief doctors huge amounts of money to come in and fill in gaps in our workforce.

“Unfortunately one of the unforeseen consequences we have a cohort of medical professionals that only want to do casual work, and not settle into an area. That’s why we’re training doctors locally in Dubbo, doing their full degree. We’ve doubled the number of training places for junior doctors into regional areas.

“We’re looking at permanent solutions rather than short term ones. He said it was also important to train allied health workers in a more generalist way, so that they can deal with mental injuries right through to elderly people recovering from strokes.”


Mr Coulton said while schools are run by the state government, the federal government can help improve schools by making sure “when those people are looking to come to a town to work as a teacher, there are other services and lifestyle opportunities that are attractive to them”.

By Natasha May

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