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Costello's hit-list for suburban and regional Australia.



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Media Statement

MARK LATHAM MP SHADOW TREASURER MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS MEMBER FOR WERRIWA

14 August 2003

Costello’s hit-list for suburban and regional Australia

Peter Costello has said that he opposes special assistance for homebuyers in Sydney, Australia’s largest city and most expensive housing market. Mr Costello’s strong opposition to policies that assist certain geographic areas has revealed his clear intention to abolish Federal Government programs of this kind (see attached release).

The Government has scores of programs that provide targeted assistance to some geographic areas but not others. Some of those on Costello’s hit-list include:

· Income Tax Zone Rebate · Additional GP incentive payments for concession card holders in remote areas · Regional Health Strategy · Regional Universities Loading · Fuel Sales Grants Scheme · Regional Assistance Program · Regional Solutions Program · Dairy Regional Assistance Program · Rural Transactions Centre Program

If Costello thinks it’s impossible to assist first homebuyers in Sydney, then obviously he’s preparing the ground for the abolition of all Government programs that target certain geographical areas, whether in the bush, regional Australia or outer suburban areas.

Having revealed himself as a policy-free zone on social capital, housing affordability and the housing cycle, Costello now wants a policy-free zone on suburban and regional programs. Costello must now come clean on his secret plan to end these Government programs.

In Parliament today, Costello also criticised the NSW Government plan to provide extra homebuyer assistance for public servants in Sydney. For most of this year Costello has been calling on the States to provide stamp duty relief for homebuyers. And now his big complaint against the Carr Government: the provision of stamp duty relief for homebuyers in Sydney.

He truly is the lost-soul of the Liberal Party.

Contact: Michael Cooney 0411 591 120 mob