Tamworth MP’s $30k pay day

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Nats MP Kevin Anderson
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TAMWORTH MP Kevin Anderson is set for a $30,000pay rise after replacing the federally-focusedAndrew Gee asparliamentary secretary for the Deputy Premier andregional roadsand rail.

Mr Anderson’s appointment was made in parliament today following Mr Gee’sresignation from the role,who will insteadfocus on his campaignfor the federal seat of Calare.

Mr Anderson–a former journalist who waselected to theNSW Legislative Assembly in 2011–said he was excited to take on the job.

“This greater responsibility is an exciting new challenge for me to work withregional communities across the state, (but) my electorate of Tamworth will remain myfirst priority and they will have a greater voice,” he said.

Appointmentto the parliamentary secretary position is accompanied by a $20,000 salary jump–and an extra $10,000 expense allowance-andis often seen asan indication ofgrooming forcabinet appointments.

The Baird government has 16 parliamentary secretaries on top ofits 22-member cabinet.

Six of those parliamentary secretariesareNationals MPs –includingRick Colless (Natural Resources and Regional Planning),Chris Gulaptis (North Coast),Katrina Hodgkinson (Southern NSW),Sarah Mitchell (Regional Health and Western NSW), and nowMr Anderson.

Mr Anderson retained Tamworth inMarch 2015 with a 3.2 per cent swing.

NSW Nationals leader Troy Grantsaid Mr Anderson would also work closely withMinister for Transport Andrew Constance.

“Kevin is an outstanding local member who over the past five years has advocatedand delivered for the people of Tamworth, and I’m confident he will excel in his newrole.” Mr Grant said.

“Regional rail has been added to the parliament secretary role as the rollout of anew regional rail fleet is a key focus of the government this term.”

Mr Anderson is also heading NSW parliament’s regional tax plan inquiry, as chairman of theInvestment, Industry and Regional Development Committee.

The inquiry to regional NSW is top of the agenda for a new inquiry intozonaltaxation launched in the NSW Lower House.

It will investigate concessions in relation to payroll tax, land tax, stamp duty and utility charges and the impact of the impact of fuel levies on regional growth.

The committee wants the public to provide feedback and is currently seeking submissions, including from local government, businesses and the community.

“We want to hear from local people about what has worked and what hasn’t,” Mr Anderson said.

“We need to ensure that current taxes and charges, amongst other things, do not act as a barrier to growth in rural and regional areas,” he said.

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