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The Coalition says no to the Rudd $42billion cash splash.

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THE HON DR SHARMAN STONE MP Federal Member for Murray Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

Wednesday 4 February 2009

The Coalition says no to the Rudd $42billion cash splash.

The Coalition Government is deeply concerned that the $42billion expenditure package just announced by the Rudd Government will not protect or create jobs or help to stave off the worst impacts of the international economic problems.

Dr Sharman Stone, Member for Murray, said “that the package was particularly disappointing for rural communities. The so called Farmer’s Hardship Bonus only applied to some 15% of Australia’s farmers. As well, a $950 one off payment would do little to help with the now critical problems of the dairy export industry, and fruit growers who were also seeing prices at or below the costs of production.

“The one off payment of $950 would also not make much difference to country students forced to drop or defer their university or other training offers because they simply cannot afford to move from home to study.

“Much of the $42billion is also aimed at bailing out failing Labor State economies, in particular in NSW and Queensland. It is simply not fair to burden our next generations with these levels of debt, through random cash payments and uncoordinated small ticket infrastructure spending. There was no money for the health sector, on farm works, or higher education. No one expects the Rudd measures to rescue the economy,” Dr Stone said.

“The Coalition has alternative strategies including a much smaller, carefully targeted strategy. Dr Stone is meeting with Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke today, (Wednesday) to again stress the need for an urgent response to the 50% on average drop in export dairy returns.

“The dairy industry employs some 40,000 directly and has a significant multiplier effect in regional economies. The Rudd Government has bailed out the automotive industry and the banks, and it has attempted to bail out the retail sector. However, it has so far ignored the dairy sector, which generated $11.5billion wholesale last year.

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