Oct 26, 2022 | Media Releases, Media Releases 2022

Labor has abandoned regional communities in its first Budget according to Deputy Leader of The Nationals, Senator Perin Davey.

“Prime Minister Anthony Albanese promised if he won Government, there would be no one held back, no one left behind, yet this is far from the truth” Senator Davey said.

She said Labor’s first Budget left behind the 30 per cent of Australians who live in regional and rural areas especially in three key areas – cost of living, childcare and infrastructure.

“There is nothing in this budget that will ease the pressure on regional families’ hip pockets including drastic increases in grocery bills and fuel costs.

“Retail electricity prices are predicted to go up by 50 per cent, while Labor’s election promise to reduce power bills by $275 is long gone,” she said.

“While the Treasurer announced $4.7 billion in childcare measures, he couldn’t create one new additional childcare place, leaving families desperate to access childcare worse off.

“When I have been in the regions, whether it be Mildura, Coffs Harbour or Rockhampton, I am consistently being told there are not enough childcare places which is exacerbating other industries staff shortages when these parents can’t go back to work.

“Labor has also put an axe to funding for roads, rail and dams in regional and rural communities.

“Programs cut include the Energy Security and Regional Development Plan, Regional Accelerator Program, Community Development Grants Program and Building Better Regions Fund.

“$4.6 billion has been ripped out of regional and rural water security projects.

Senator Davey also said programs designed to lift the morale and the spirit of regional communities had also been severed.

“The Budget won’t proceed with round 2 of the Agricultural Shows Development Grant program and they are also scrapping funding for the Agricultural Show and Field Days program,” Senator Davey said.

The Nationals Leader David Littleproud said the worst fears of regional and rural families had been realised.

“Labor’s terrible policies are already creating enormous damage,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Treasurer Chalmers keeps talking about families around the kitchen table – families in regional Australia now face the reality that when it comes to their dinner discussion, they are alone. Labor has abandoned them and stolen their future on the way,” Senator Davey said.