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Labor defection to Nationals in the west.

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Labor defection to Nationals in the west

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Source: Warren Truss MP

The defection of a Labor MP to The Nationals in Western Australia is an ear-splitting wake up call to the ALP across Australia - continue ignoring the regions at your peril.

Welcoming the decision, the Federal Leader of The Nationals, Warren Truss, said the people of regional Australia were appalled by Labor Party policy being run from the capital cities by people who treated the regions with contempt.

New Nationals MP Vince Catania slammed his former party as having a “city-centric view on policies that does not reflect regional WA” and saying he had lost faith in the direction of Labor and was sick of “bashing his head against a brick wall”.

“I can only imagine Mr Catania’s decision, given his family background and commitment to Labor ideals, must have been very hard for him,” Mr Truss said. “But that said, you cannot continue living a lie - in politics you must stand up for what you believe in.

“Federally, Kevin Rudd cut more than $1 billion from the regions in his first Budget. In the second, countless billions more were slashed, all the while creating a monstrous Federal debt that will take decades to pay off.

“The three Labor frontbenchers charged with policy and programs for Australia’s regions live in adjacent inner-Sydney seats. Labor’s attitude to the regions is dismissive, destructive and sneering, and they spend most of their time in Parliament belittling the achievements of regional people.

“Mr Catania’s decision is an enormous credit to the performance of the WA Nationals led by Brendon Grylls. Their Royalties for the Regions deal with the Liberal Party has been very successful and in government they have knuckled down to the complex and demanding job of doing the right thing by all West Australians in tough economic times.

“Labor’s regional MPs in Federal Parliament must be watching on with their hearts in their mouths. They know just how damaging Labor policies like changes to the youth allowance and failures on regional health have been and know the big daddy of them all, the emissions trading scheme, will destroy regional jobs and investment.

“I’d like to say that I would happily welcome any Federal Labor MPs into the Nationals fold if they were prepared to jump ship.

“But sadly, they have shown no willingness to stand up for their constituents as the policies of Rudd Labor devastate the communities which they represent,” Mr Truss said.