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City centric labor exposed yet again.

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Federal Member for Wannon

Hamilton Office 190 Gray St, HAMILTON VIC 3300 Warrnambool Office 73 Kepler St WARRNAMBOOL VIC 3280 Freecall 1300 131 692 E W

Federal Member for Wannon

20 July 2009


Western Victorians living outside the major centres have been dealt another blow after revelations the Rudd Government’s Green Loans Scheme is unavailable to many rural residents.

Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, today slammed this latest example of Labor’s city-centric mindset, labeling it ridiculous.

“Labor’s Green Loans Scheme promised to provide funding for insulation, solar hot water and other improvements to make local residences more environmentally friendly,” Mr Hawker said.

“Unfortunately, as with so many of Labor’s schemes, this policy has not been thought through and Western Victorians applying to have their homes assessed are being knocked back simply because they live outside of the major towns.”

Mr Hawker said residents are only eligible for the grants after their home has been assessed by a qualified assessor. However, no funding has been set aside to compensate assessors’ travel costs to homes outside the region’s largest towns.

“I can fully understand local assessors don’t want to be lumped with uncompensated travelling costs, but this ridiculous oversight means thousands of residents living outside of the major centres will again miss out on improvements freely available to the rest of the population,” he said.

Mr Hawker said this latest revelation comes after Labor’s decision earlier this year to exclude those living in towns of less than 1,000 from their exorbitantly expensive National Broadband Initiative.

“Rudd Labor needs to alter these policies immediately to include all Western Victorians. People living in rural areas pay taxes too, but Rudd Labor is intent upon forgetting they exist,” he said.

“I have written to the Federal Environment Minister demanding he address this bias immediately.”

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (03) 5572 1100