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Labor promises fail Regional communities' needs

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M e d i a R e l e a s eTHE HON ALEX SOMLYAY MP mer for Regional Development, Territoriei and Local Government


"Labor's promises for regional Australia are a return to their failed policies of the past," the Federal Regional Development Minister, Alex Somlyay, said today.

The centrepiece of Labor’s promises is to restore funding for regional bureaucracies. Labor’s promise for regional Australia is to return to a policy that regional communities rejected resoundingly at the last election.

"Funding bigger bureaucracies does nothing for jobs, nothing for business investment and nothing for community services," he said.

Labor had an opportunity today to deliver policies of real benefit for regional communities. They failed dismally.

* Labor failed by not reducing the cost of doing business by $10 billion per year;

x Labor failed by nof reducing the cost to exporters by more than $4.5 billion per year.

x Labor failed by not reducing transport costs of exports by more than $3.5 billion per year.

x Labor failed by not reversing Its divisive and discriminatory tax slug on four wheel drive vehicles, which will hit regional communities hardest of all.

"It is only the Coalition that has an achievable and realistic plan to boost Investment, help create jobs and bulkj vibrant regional economies," Mr Somlyay said.

It was the Coalition which put in place the lowest Interest rates for 30 years, opposed by Labor at every turn.

“No amount of huffing and puffing by Labor about a grab bag of unsustainable new spending programmes will produce results like this."

Labor's promises cannot match either the breadth of the Coalition's Tax Plan, or the effectiveness of the Coalition’s Integrated and cross-portfolio Regional Australia Strategy - strategy that has delivered more than $3.5 billion in programmes of specific benefit to communities in regional Australia.

Coalition initiatives such a s the $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust, the $1 billion Federation Fund, the $250 Regional Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund and the $525 million Agriculture-Advancing Australia package have delivered tangible benefits to regional Australia. Real benefits delivered through savings, not debts or borrowings,

Labor failed regional Australia In Government, and now falls them again.

Regional Australia cannot afford a return to Labor's high taxing high interest rate policies.

ENDS 16 September 1996 Contact: Graeme Hallett 0419 218 469