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100 days: $1,200 million down.

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Mon, 3rd March 2008 100 DAYS - $1,200 MILLION DOWN

The Hon John Cobb MP Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Water Security

While Kevin Rudd celebrates his 100 days in office, rural and regional Australia is counting the cost. The cost to rural and regional Australia has been $12 million per day, or $1.2 billion.

Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Water Security, John Cobb, said the effects of the Labor Slash and Burn program was going to be felt most by regional and rural communities.

''In the 100 days since the Rudd Labor Government took office, an average of around $12 million per day has been stripped from country communities,'' Mr Cobb said.

''This includes agricultural training programs, the deferment of the Inland Rail Link, and the obvious gutting of the Regional Partnerships programs.

''We've already had the Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner announce more than half a billion in cuts, of which three quarters has been cut from rural and regional people.

''In addition, the $1.2 billion Investing In Our Schools program has been scrapped, a third of which went to regional Australia.

''Investing In Our Schools was a program which proved successful beyond anyone's wildest dreams, and Regional Partnerships is an ongoing program which has benefited our rural communities regardless of size.

''And, if as seems likely, Labor sucks dry the $2 billion Communications Fund, which was specifically designed to boost essential communications infrastructure in rural and regional Australia, this figure will skyrocket.''