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Labor admission provides rural reality check.

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M148/2001 24 May 2001


Labor’s admission that it may not be able to afford roll-back serves as a reality check for regional Australia, Federal Regional Services Minister, Senator Ian Macdonald said today.

Senator Macdonald said that Labor’s Roll-Back roll-back served to reinforce that a future Labor Government cannot meet its grandiose promises and rhetoric and regional Australia had the most to lose.

“Labor has opposed virtually everything we have done in regional Australia and as the reality of having to square up the ledger bites on Beazley’s rhetoric, regional programmes will be the first in the firing line.”

“Its time for Labor to tell us what their plans really are and more importantly how they will be funded.  Their sullen refusal to support current regional programmes serves as a warning to country Australia.”

 “Labor won’t commit to keeping the diesel fuel rebate scheme, they oppose Networking the Nation, they opposed Rural Transaction Centres and they called the $1.2 bn investment in local roads boondoggling.”

“Labor, by its action, is preparing the ground to cut those programmes.”

 “While we still have much work to do, country Australia has been put back on the map under the Coalition. A Labor Government would set back the gains that are only just starting to flow in rural and regional areas.”

“As Labor are forced to shift their promises from academic rhetoric to budget reality, they will have to cut something,” Senator Macdonald said.

“When that happens, as sure as night follows day, the aspirations of country Australians will be the first victims of Beazley’s academic rationalism.”

Media Contact: David Moore (02) 6277 7060 / 0417 774 724