Regional WA always loses in Labor’s budget games
The Labor Government is on notice with The Nationals WA warning any further moves to dismantle regional services and cut funding from the bush will incur an electoral backlash come 2021.
Leader Mia Davies said regional communities had endured a difficult 14 months since Labor took power.
“Look at what the community has already had to fight for – School of the Air, residential colleges, the South West Rescue Helicopter, camp schools, aged care accommodation projects and health funding have all suffered under this Government,” Ms Davies said.
“Regional people now know nothing is sacred under Labor and the question on everyone’s lips is ‘what will they cut next?’”
Ms Davies said the electorate was cynical of Labor’s agenda to pile funding into its own electorates and pay for their Perth promises with no regard for where the money came from.
“This is in stark contrast to the approach taken by The Nationals in Government where we sought to build the foundations for a stronger regional Western Australia,” she said.
“Royalties for Regions reinvigorated regional WA and laid out a long-term vision for regional development in this State.
“Under Labor we’ve seen this pushed aside to make way for pet projects and their own city-centric agenda.
“None of this is surprising, they have a set playbook when coming to Government and it’s like history repeating itself again and again.
“Unfortunately, regional Western Australia is the collateral damage of these political games, which have a real and long-lasting impact on our communities.”
Ms Davies said every time the Government removed a key service, withdrew funding from a program or closed a facility, the bedrock of communities was eaten away.
“Labor’s version of regional development – a pot luck approach driven by political expediency – is unsustainable and unfair,” she said.
Ms Davies said the Government continued to trot out the excuse of Budget repair in an attempt to sell the cuts to regional people, but that argument neglected the increase in spending throughout Perth seats.
“Our communities do not suffer fools and know when they are being led on,” Ms Davies said.
“In Perth we’ve seen a new marina at Ocean Reef announced, dog parks funded by Labor’s ‘local projects, local jobs’ slush fund, multi-storey car parks in Mandurah, the proliferation of train lines and freeway extensions left, right and centre.
“Regional WA always loses in Labor’s budget games.”