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Albanese Labor government ignores regional Australia cutting infrastructure funds and neglecting the cost-of-living crisis

David Littleproud, leader of The Nationals, criticises Labor for neglecting regional Australia in its budget, slashing infrastructure funds and failing to address the cost-of-living crisis while prioritising urban areas.

By news@gippsland - 14th May 2024 - Back to News

Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud said Labor has continued to ignore regional Australia in its Budget, cutting regional infrastructure projects and failing to provide new money for regional programs, while refusing to fix its self-made cost-of-living crisis. "The Prime Minister said when he was elected two years ago, 'no one would be held back, no one would be left behind', but that's only if you live in a capital city," Mr Littleproud said.

Labor diverted $592.3 million from water projects to unspecified priorities, adding to $7 billion cut earlier. $300 energy rebates follow green energy plans, impacting agriculture

Labor diverted $592.3 million from water projects to unspecified priorities, adding to $7 billion cut earlier. $300 energy rebates follow green energy plans, impacting agriculture

Labor's budget decisions

Mr Littleproud said, "This year's Budget has demonstrated again that not only has regional Australia had critical infrastructure ripped away, but will also bear the cost of higher mortgages, higher energy bills and higher food prices." Labor spent $1.6 billion less on road and rail projects this year than it promised just five months ago in its Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook.

Mr Littleproud said Labor could find money for 36,000 Canberra bureaucrats but couldn't spend money to even fill in a few potholes, let alone build new roads for the regions. Labor has cut $592.3 million in funding for the Paradise Dam Improvement project, the Big Rocks Weir project and the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme, redirecting the savings to 'other priorities' not even announced yet. This is in addition to the $7 billion that was taken out of water infrastructure in Labor's first Budget in 2022.

Labor's rebates for energy bills, of $300 per household, comes after Labor's plans for 28,000 kilometres of transmission lines and billions of dollars in tax incentives for 'green energy' projects, ripping up agricultural land and remnant vegetation in the name of renewables.

Labor budget critique

Mr Littleproud said the $300 energy rebate is an admission that Labor's energy policy has failed and they're covering over the cracks with taxpayers' money, to politically defer the impact of higher energy prices until after the election. "Labor is also remaining secretive about water buybacks in its Budget and when new road projects will actually be delivered, given most of the funding is pushed off into the never-never."

Labor is pressing ahead with its new fresh food tax, called a biosecurity protection levy. Food costs will continue to climb because Labor is refusing to reinstate the AgVisa, instead introducing just $1 million in its Budget for a 'skilled agricultural work liaison pilot' to attract graduates to work in agriculture.

Labor has no plan to address regional Australia's housing crisis, despite bringing in nearly 1.7 million new migrants over the next five years. "Regional Australia has been betrayed in Labor's Budget. Sadly, it is clear Labor has no plan to fix its cost-of-living crisis and regional families will feel the pain in their wallets. Under Labor, regional Australians are poorer and being hit with higher taxes, higher mortgage repayments and higher grocery and energy bills," he said.

Pictures from 9 News website.


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