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Budget will not save the bush.

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Media Release

John Woodley

Australian Democrats

Spokesperson on Rural and Regional Affairs


13 MAY, 1999



Budget will not save the Bush


This budget does nothing to reduce the continuing decline in population, the plight of government services, a nd loss of hope in the bush, according to the Australian Democrats.


“There is nothing in the budget to stop the destruction of family farms that provide stability and sustainability to rural communities,” said Senator John Woodley, Democrats spokesperson on rural and regional affairs.


“The government has still not fulfilled its 1996 election promise to remove the assets test for farming families wanting to access Austudy. Farmers are asset rich, but cash poor, and up to 5000 students from farming families are missing out because of the government’s failure to keep its promise,” said Senator Woodley.


“Gifted rural students are also disadvantaged by the axing of the Higher Education Equity Merit Scholarship Scheme worth $40 million.


“The $6 million for the Pork Producer Exit Programme is not an assistance package but a ‘Dump Australian pork producers package’. It is too little, too late.


“The government missed its opportunity to assist pork producers when it refused to block foreign imports of pork into Australia. They could have used the measures allowable under World Trade Organisation rules to save this industry and saved $6 million at the same time,” said Senator Woodley.




Senator Woodley on 0419 025 150 or (02) 6277 3728

For background briefing or Kate Kunzelmann on 0419 709 775.




jy  1999-05-17  14:44