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Regional projects victims of mining tax sham



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Warren Truss Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development

Media Statement

24 October 2013

Regional projects victims of mining tax sham

“LABOR has promised hundreds of communities across the country money for local projects based on funding from a mining tax that failed to deliver the promised revenue,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said today as the government released exposure draft legislation to abolish the mining tax.

“For many communities Labor’s Regional Development Australia Fund and Regional Infrastructure Fund have been another cruel con.

“Right up to election day, Labor was announcing projects using money it knew did not exist.

“It is astonishing that, even now, Labor continues to spruik its hollow projects when, in government, it failed to fund them. Hundreds of projects were announced that had not even received cursory departmental assessments, yet Labor was promising anyone who would listen that these were somehow a done deal.

“The Coalition Government will, of course, honour signed contracts undertaken by the previous government. However, non-contracted announcements made by the Labor government have the status of election promises and do not bind an alternative government.

“Labor was unable to deliver RDAF and RIF projects it already had on its books because those projects depended on a mining tax that, as we all now know, raised virtually no money.

“Unlike the previous government’s phantom funding based on a flawed and failed mining tax, our $1 billion National Stronger Regions Fund is fully funded and accounted for as part of the Budget. The funding is guaranteed. As the national economy improves, we expect more funds will be allocated to the National Stronger Regions Fund.

“This will give regional communities the certainty they need that projects will be delivered.

“The new Government is now working through specific options on funding for regional development.

“The Government will continue to deliver funding to Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) projects that are under contract. The issue of funding uncontracted RDAF projects will be considered in the context of available funds and the most effective way to deliver the National Stronger Regions Fund.

“This Government will deliver a dedicated National Stronger Regions Fund, which will help build the social and community infrastructure so important to modern life, including community facilities and local services.

“We are committed to working with regions to create dynamic, stable, secure and viable economies across Australia and I will be providing advice shortly on how this will best be achieved.”

[ENDS]

Media Contact: Brett Heffernan on (02) 6277 7680 or 0467 650 020 or brett.heffernan@infrastructure.gov.au