Middle and regional Australia miss out

Last night’s Federal Budget has failed the people of middle and regional Australia, Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP said today.

“People are struggling with mortgage repayments, and the cost of groceries and other necessary items is going through the roof,” Mr Wilson said.

So, I am very disappointed to see there was nothing in the Budget for middle Australia.

“I listened very closely to last night’s Budget speech, and did not hear the Treasurer once mention the word ‘regions’.

“Nor did Mr Chalmers mention the word ‘communications’.

“And I did not hear him mentioninfrastructure’, agriculture’, ‘mining’ or ‘resources’.

“These are all critical issues and areas of the economy and society in my electorate that did not get any attention, at least in the Treasurer’s speech.”

Mr Wilson rebuked Labor’s slashing of the Export Market Development Grants Scheme, which has operated since 1974, and has been the Australian Government’s main financial assistance program for aspiring and developing exporters.

“They’ve cut 61 million from that program that’s been used by many small to medium agricultural and mining businesses, particularly in the south-west of my electorate, to get overseas and try to develop new markets that are critical to growing our economy,” he said.

Mr Wilson also lamented Federal Labor’s ramping up of a ‘truckies’ tax’.

“The rebate truck drivers currently get on their fuel bills will be cut by 5.2 cents a litre,” he explained.

“And that will be passed through to consumers in the form of even higher costs in the supermarket.”

Mr Wilson said last night’s Budget lacked vision.

“There was no mention by the Treasurer of any infrastructure projects, any nation-building projects such as the Outback Way or Albany Ring Road that were funded in my electorate by the former Coalition Government,” he said.

“In fact, Mr Chalmers has cut many of the infrastructure projects that we previously announced and that’s where they’ve made their savings.

“As a result, important projects including much-needed upgrades to the Great Eastern and South Coast highways remain unfunded.

“The irony is that WA’s mining and farming communities that desperately require those projects are the very communities that have played such a big part in delivering Mr Chalmers’ small Budget surplus, in terms of royalties on our mineral exports, and taxes paid by a highly efficient agricultural sector that has produced two record crops in a row.” 


Media contact: Chris Thomson – (08) 9842 2777; [email protected]

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