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Regional betrayal now abandonment



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MEDIA RELEASE T h e H o n S i m o n C r e a n M P

Shadow Industry and Regional Development Minister Manager of Opposition Business

20 August 1996

REGIONAL BETRAYAL NOW ABANDONMENT

The Howard Budget is a massive betrayal of regional Australia, Shadow Regional Development Minister Simon Crean said today.

“The Coalition Government has abandoned any effective role in the economic development of the regions.

“Clearly its rhetoric is not backed by the resources it promised during the election.

“The National Party is now the irrelevant party in the Coalition. It clearly can’t stand up for its traditional base.

“Although it promised much, it has delivered very little, with roads, infrastructure and individuals being the big losers..

“The attached list highlights just some of the promises and the betrayal. Among these:

“Higher education has been slashed and the promise to relax the asset test for Austudy has been deferred indefinitely. It is a telling point that education does not rate a mention in the Government's ‘Rebuilding Regional Australia’ document.

“Assistance to the unemployed has been cut by 30 per cent.

“Road funding through the National Highway System has been slashed by $620 million. Even with the Pacific Highway and Black Spots program, total road funding to the regions has been cut by $150 million over the next 3 years, and will be hit a further $45 million the year after that.

“Other infrastructure programs have been abandoned. The Government justifies this saying the bulk is Better Cities money, none of which was spent in the regions. Apart from being untrue, much of the Better Cities money was spent in regional centres such as Townsville, Moe, Newcastle and Bunbury.

“Regional Australia is part of Mainstream Australia. But this is not a Budget for them.”

Further information: Phillip Tardif (06) 277 4803 or 0411491186

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY

T H E D E C E P T IO N T H E B E T R A Y A L

M ain tain fu n d in g fo r region al d evelop m en t o f $150 m illion o v e r fo u r yeai^s, in clu d in g u rb an flo o d m itig a tio n an d the O ffice o f N orth ern D evelop m en t.

X Funding abolished. Department disbanded. Minister states no role for the Commonwealth in regional development.

C o n tin u e F ed era l road fu n d in g expen d itu re a t cu rren t levels a n d ad d sign ifican t new road in fra stru ctu re an d m ain ten an ce p rogram s

X Road funding through the National Highway System slashed by $620 million. Even with the Pacific Highway and Black Spots program, total road funding to the regions has been euL by $ 150 million over the next 3 years, and will be hit a further

$45 million the year after that.

M ain ta in ex istin g fu n d in g for th e A B C . X ABC funding slashed. ABC Chair states that regional

services cannot be quarantined from cuts.

M a in ta in fu n d in g in real term s for job p rogram s su ch as th e S k illsh ares, L E A P a n d N e w W o r k O p p ortu n ities.

X Cuts of $1.8 billion. Replacement apprenticeship program provides a fraction of the funds and promises no growth in apprentice numbers.

N o t cu t th e n u m b e r o f u n iversity p laces. X University places cut by over 16,000. Student who miss out have to pay fees.

'B u ild a n d stren gth en ' region al un iversities. X University funding slashed.

In trod u ce a ta x reb a te from 1 J u ly 1996 for on -farm la n d ca r e w o rk s. X No mention in Budget papers and National Landcare funding slashed by

$200 million over 4 years.

C u t sm a ll b u sin ess red tap e b y 50% in th e first term o f a C oalition govern m en t.

'First term commitment abandoned. Red tape on small business increased with measures such as the 'dole diary'.

M a in ta in th e E x p o r t M a rk et D evelop m en t G ran ts sch em e. X Program slashed by $426 million over next four years.

T H E D E C E P T IO N T H E B E T R A Y A L

M ain tain the E x p o rt M a rk et D evelop m en t G ran ts S ch em e X Program slashed by $426 million over next four years.

M ain tain th e In tern a tio n a l T rad e E n h a n cem en t S ch em e X Program abolished at a cost of $120 million over four years.

R etain th e 150% R & D ta x con cession X Tax concession cut to 125% at a cost

to industry of $1.25 billion over four years.

N o n ew taxes an d no in crease in existin g taxes X Cut to the R&D tax concession constitutes a tax increase.

N o ch a n g e p lan n ed to ex istin g in d u stry R & D su p p ort.

"C h an ges to th e sy n d ica ted research and d evelop m en t ta x c o n c e s s io n ... m ay w ell resu lt in th e d r y in g u p o f one o f th e few effective form s o f v e n tu r e ca p ita l availab le in A u stra lia to fu n d research and develop m en t."

X Syndicated R&D abolished at a cost to industry of $1 billion over 4 years.

R etain A u sln d u str y as th e p rim ary agency fo r d eliv erin g en terp rise d evelop m en t p rogram s.

X Auslndustry slashed by $34 million over two years.

R etain su p p o rt o f A U S T R A D E X Cuts to AUSTRADE trade promotion

and facilitation, amounting to almost $100 million over four years.

M ain tain th e E x p o r t M a rk et D evelop m en t G ran ts sch em e. X EMDG slashed by $426 million over four years.

R etain th e C o m p u ter B o u n ty X Computer Bounty terminated from 1

July 1997 at a cost to industry of $ 115 million to the end of the decade.

B u sin ess to receive a top -u p fo r you th tr a in in g w a g es to g u a ra n tee no cu t to yo u th w a g e levels.

X Practically no funding provided.

No cuts to youth wages. X The Workplace Relations Bill allows

youth wages to be cut, often to less than $3 per hour. The Government has refused to amend the Bill to guarantee youth wages at

existing levels, and has provided a fraction of the funds necessary to top- up wages that are cut.

Cut youth unemployment. X Job programs slashed.

Government sets a 'red tape' target and gives the Reserve Bank and inflation target, but refuses to set a jobs target.

Establish a Regional Development X No Ministerial Council. Ministerial Council and hold regular No Cabinet meetings outside Sydney Cabinet meetings in regional centres. and Canberra.

Cut small business red tape by 50% in the first term of a Coalition government. X 'First term commitment abandoned. Red tape on small business increased

with measures including the 'dole diary'.

Establish a review of industry assistance for the textiles, clothing and footwear industry as a m atter of priority.

X Five months on and nothing announced.

Create 200,000 new jobs in

manufacturing industry by the year 2000. X Budget projections for employment growth makes achievement of this target impossible.

Minister has admitted he received no advice on how to achieve the target.