The Morrison Government’s latest regional funding announcement is another dud that pits regions against each other, favours Government-held seats and leaves large parts of our nation behind.
Rather than coming up with a plan to drive recovery across regional Australia, the Morrison Government has instead selected 10 regions – mainly Liberal and National-held – to share in $100m over the next two years, while leaving nothing for the rest of the country.
This might be good for headlines and Coalition members, but it does nothing for communities in need.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that these 10 regions have been chosen because “they are regions whose economies have experienced the brunt of natural events such as bushfires, or COVID-19, drought as well”.
But he announced no funding for the NSW Southcoast, no funding for the Blue Mountains, no funding for the Sunshine Coast and no funding for Northern NSW.
When we are talking about regions that have done it tough, it is impossible to understand why these have been left behind.
At the same time, five months after the fires came through, only 1 in every $8 earmarked for bushfire recovery had been spent, and even now there are still families waiting for help.
Labor wants to back the regions to grow and succeed, that means investing in roads, rail and infrastructure across the nation.
Instead, we have a government which over the past 12 months has underinvested in infrastructure by $1.7 billion.
This announcement shows the Morrison Government is once again picking favourites and leaving regions across Australia behind.
THURSDAY, 1 OCTOBER 2020