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Rural Australia sold out.



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**MEDIA ALERT**

**PLEASE NOTE THIS RELEASE SUPERCEDES THE RELEASE DATED 4/12/08

TITLED “GOVERNMENT CAUGHT WITH ITS HAND IN THE TILL”

JOINT PRESS RELEASE FROM

SENATOR JOHN WILLIAMS and SENATOR FIONA NASH.

5/12/08

RURAL AUSTRALIA SOLD OUT.

Rural and regional Australia has been sold out with the decision early this morning to allow the Government to siphon off the $2 billion Future Fund.

Only hours after thwarting the Government’s attempts in the Senate to stop the money being taken out of the Communications Fund, the House of Representatives disallowed the amendments and returned the Bill to the Senate.

In spite of the Nationals holding their ground, the $2 billion that had been set aside by the previous Government for rural and regional communications will be used by the Federal Government for its National Broadband Network.

Nationals Senators Barnaby Joyce, Ron Boswell, Fiona Nash and John Williams stood as one, condemning Labor for taking money away from country people.

“The $2 billion had been set aside by the Nationals in the previous Government to future-proof rural and regional communications, and now the Rudd Government has its hands on the money with no commitment to spend it in the bush”, Senator Williams said.

“Disgraceful, appalling and shameful are an appropriate description of what Labor has done.

They have shown before they are not interested in the well-being of rural Australia, and now a financial backstop that had been gained by the Nationals for country people will be frittered away.

The Nationals have said we will die in the trenches to protect our investment in the bush, and by going it alone for the second time in a week we have been true to our word”, Senator Williams said.

ENDS

Contact Senator Williams on 0427 029 918 or Senator Nash on 0428 864 845 .