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Labor’s crocodile tears won’t save CRCs

The Nationals WA continue to pile pressure on the McGowan Government over Labor’s proposal to cut funding for Community Resource Centres in half.

Leader Mia Davies, along with Warren-Blackwood MP Terry Redman and Roe MP Peter Rundle, today presented the Government with petitions featuring more than 1000 signatures protesting the CRC cuts.

It comes after Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said funding was being taken from the CRC Network to fund “really, really important things”.

Ms Davies today questioned the Premier in Parliament over Labor’s plan.

“The Premier failed to outline what those things were,” she said.

“CRCs provide a range of essential government services, professional development, employment and traineeship opportunities as well as supporting a massive volunteer force.

“I put it to the Premier and his Minister that they would be hard pressed to find a more important funding recipient than our Community Resource Centres.”

Ms Davies said the Premier also failed to clarify his previous comments in Parliament where he pointed to his iPhone and said regional communities did not need CRCs in 2018 because everyone had a smartphone in their pocket.

“With this type of rhetoric it’s no wonder regional people consider Labor to be completely out-of-touch and ignorant of the challenges faced by those living in the bush,” Ms Davies said.

Ms Davies said Labor’s regional MPs crying “crocodile tears” over CRCs need to stand up to their city-dominated Cabinet colleagues and convince them to reverse the funding cuts.

“They may well roar like lions on the pages of their local newspaper but when push comes to shove in the party room Labor’s regional MPs are as quiet as mice,” Ms Davies said.

“The fact of the matter is regional WA always loses in Labor’s Budget games.”

 Last week it was revealed that a reduced funding model proposed by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development would result in reduced CRC opening hours, loss of traineeships and operational funding cuts of up to 50 per cent for some centres.

Nationals MPs have tabled more than 5000 petition signatures through the Support our CRCs campaign calling on the Labor Government to reinstate full funding for the network.

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