The McGowan Government has abandoned the bush with confirmation it will rip apart the Royalties for Regions program to bankroll Perth election promises.
The Nationals WA today launched its ‘Metrodebt’ campaign, exposing the McGowan Government’s violation of Royalties for Regions to fund Labor election commitments and core regional services.
“Labor has more than $5 billion worth of election promises it must fulfil, a majority of which fall in the Perth area,” Ms Davies said. “Despite committing to Royalties for Regions prior to the election, the Mark McGowan has now broken that promise and seems hell-bent on returning to the dark old days of when regional citizens were merely an afterthought of Perth-first governments.
“With metropolitan seats making up 76 per cent (42 out of 55 seats) of the Labor caucus, Mr McGowan was always going to put city voters first.”
Ms Davies said by using Royalties for Regions to fund normal government services in country areas the McGowan Government effectively saved money which could then be sunk back into the party’s priority projects in Perth.
“Labor want to use Royalties for Regions to pay for everyday government services,” Ms Davies said. “This means scarce funds will remain for regional development, which Royalties for Regions was created for and designed to cover above normal government spending.”
Ms Davies said it was unnecessary for the McGowan Government to ransack Royalties for Regions while simultaneously increasing household fees and charges when an alternative revenue steam was on the table.
“The Nationals policy to review State Agreements and update the rental fee paid by BHP and Rio Tinto is still available to the Premier,” Ms Davies said.
“BHP and Rio Tinto last month announced underlying profits of $7.4 billion and $4.95 billion (AUD) respectively, driven by the company’s Pilbara iron ore operations, yet those two companies continue to pay a rental fee which has remained fixed at 25c per tonne of iron ore for more than 50 years.
“Struggling Western Australian mums and dads have every right to question why their charges are not fixed in perpetuity as the McGowan Government raids their back pockets and massacres Royalties for Regions to prop up the Budget.”
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