- Labor’s pamphlet reveals it will cut funding to country Victoria by $1.936 billion
- Labor copycats policies which are already in action
- Labor puts up token spending to cover massive cuts
Labor’s pamphlet, released today, reveals Labor will cut funding for country Victoria by at least $1.936 billion, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said today.
“Labor’s claims it will spend $200 million on regional jobs, $1 billion on regional roads over eight years, and reinstate its token Regional Infrastructure Development Fund are token offerings to disguise huge cuts in the country,” Mr Ryan said.
“Labor steals your wallet then offers you one of your own stolen banknotes as a distraction.
“In the next term of government, Labor, if elected, would cut the Regional Growth Fund ($500 million); cut the Murray Basin Rail Project (up to $220 million); cut up to three quarters of the roads maintenance budget ($1.5 billion); and cut the Country Roads and Bridges program ($160 million).
“It would return a token $200 million for a regional jobs fund, far less than the $500 million the Coalition has already set aside in the Regional Growth Fund – which Labor has said it will axe. The Regional Growth Fund has already invested more than $440 million in 1,600 projects, generating $1.8 billion of investment and 5,000 jobs in regional and rural Victoria.
“Labor’s pledge to spend $1 billion on regional roads over eight years equates to $125 million a year – up to a 75 per cent cut. This year, the Coalition invested $500 million in roads maintenance.
“Labor has said it would reinstate its token Regional Infrastructure Development Fund, which its glossy brochures tell us invested just $61 million a year – $611 million over a decade – so that’s $244 million over the next term of government.
“That’s a $2.38 billion cut from the country and $444 million offered as a replacement – Labor cuts the country by $1.936 billion,” Mr Ryan said.
“Furthermore, Labor’s copycat regional jobs ‘policies’ released today are already reality under the Regional Growth Fund, which Labor aims to axe.
“Labor says it will set up Regional Business Centres and Regional Cities Clusters to ‘provide expert advice and assistance to businesses looking to expand or relocate to regional Victoria’.
This is already done under the Regional Growth Fund.”
Regional Development Victoria already manages 18 regional offices which ‘facilitate investment, jobs and exports, creating a local contact point for businesses, council and community groups’.
RDV also has a Business Engagement Team which ‘engages with Victorian regional businesses to promote the development of sustainable industries that are growth orientated and export focussed’.
“Labor has refused to commit to the Murray Basin Rail Project, worth up to $220 million, which will transform the way goods are transported in western and northern Victoria, creating countless jobs and huge opportunities for business and exports,” Mr Ryan said.
“Labor has also refused to commit to the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges program.
“Labor will cut the country by $1.936 billion, print a glossy brochure and try to fool regional Victorians into believing it invests in the regions.
“Labor will cut the country.”
Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122