Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Federal Labor deserts regional communities by axing $200 million Growing Regions programme.

Download PDFDownload PDF

Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33 0408 532 785 Canberra: 62 77 4447

Luke Hartsuyker MP Federal Member for Cowper Shadow Minister for Business Development, Independent Contractors and Consumer Affairs


February 6, 2008

Federal Labor deserts regional communities by axing $200 million Growing Regions programme

The Nationals Federal Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, today said regional communities on the North Coast would pay a high price as a result of the Rudd Government’s decision to axe the $200 million Growing Region programme.

Mr Hartsuyker said the Growing Regions programme was specifically designed to assist growing regional areas to meet the increased need for community infrastructure.

“A growing economy and the sea change and tree change phenomenon are transforming many regional communities and placing pressure on social, economic and community infrastructure,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“As a result, last year the Coalition Government announced the $200 million Growing Regions programme to help deal with the impact of growth. The programme evolved from discussions with regional community leaders who highlighted the challenges of funding adequate infrastructure.

“Today, Labor’s Federal Minister for Finance has detailed some of the cutbacks that the Rudd Labor Government will implement.

“Today, The Rudd Government scrapped the Growing Regions programme and sent a clear message that Labor doesn’t care about the interests of regional Australia.

“This is a classic case of Labor in Government. One should never look at what they say, only what they do.

“In New South Wales we have a State Labor Government which is only concerned about Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong. It now appears that Federal Labor intends to follow suit. Mr Rudd had a real opportunity to send a positive message to regional communities by supporting the Growing Regions programme.

“He had the chance to demonstrate that he understood the challenges of the sea change and tree change effect. Instead Mr Rudd has chosen to desert regional communities.”

Mr Hartsuyker called on Mr Rudd to retain two other vital regional programmes - Regional Partnerships and Sustainable Regions.

“Both these programmes have delivered excellent outcomes on the North Coast and they play an important role in the economic and social development of our region,” Mr Hartsuyker said.