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Labor turn their backs on regional Australia



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Senator Barnaby Joyce 

Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Water  Leader of the Nationals in the Senate  Senator for Queensland 

Labor turn their backs on regional Australia

December 14, 2010 17:38

Labor Ministers seem incapable of understanding the details of their own portfolios.

In regards to the slicing up of Labor’s mining tax into a Regional Infrastructure Fund, Simon Crean has been reported yesterday as saying that:

We're not allocating it on a proportional basis by region.*

That seems quite at odds with a statement in a presentation Simon Crean made only 3 weeks ago, where he described the mining tax infrastructure fund as a:

$6 billion Regional Infrastructure Fund, including $2 billion, $2 billion for WA … 1

If a third of the fund is allocated to both Queensland and Western Australia can Simon Crean explain how that is not “allocated on a proportional basis”?

It is also at odds with the policy that Labor took to the election.

On 30 July 2010, Prime Minister Julia Gillard stated that:

That is why Federal Labor will invest more than $2 billion in WA infrastructure from the Regional Infrastructure Fund … 2

That is why Federal Labor will invest more than $2 billion in QLD infrastructure from the Regional Infrastructure Fund … 3

Labor needs to come clean with the people of Queensland and Western Australia and confirm whether their election commitments stand.

The mining tax is likely to rip $30 billion out of the Queensland and Western Australian economies. Returning $4 billion is hardly a great deal but it looks like Labor is now even turning their backs on this