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Labor’s Budget ignores regional Australia again

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.
“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 transmissions lines and billions of dollars in tax incentives for ‘green energy’
projects, ripping up agricultural land and remnant vegetation in the name of renewables.
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.”

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