The Nationals WA have called on the McGowan Government to restore the integrity of Royalties for Regions in the wake of the GST reform package passing the Senate today.
Leader Mia Davies said with Western Australia set to be $4.7 billion better off over the next eight years there was no longer any excuse for Labor’s assault on The Nationals’ flagship program.
“Since coming to Government, Mark McGowan has pillaged Royalties for Regions to the extent that it is no longer recognisable,” Ms Davies said.
“Over the next three years Labor will effectively cut $1 billion from Royalties for Regions by shifting RfR funding into programs that would normally be paid for by Government departments.
“With a GST solution now in place, Labor and Mr McGowan have run out of excuses for their mean-spirited short-changing of regional communities.
“The message is clear among our constituents: reinstate the integrity of Royalties for Regions or face the wrath of country people at the ballot box come 2021.”
Labor’s RfR cost shift includes:
- $79.9 million for orange school buses
- $134.7 million for regional TAFE subsidies
- $795.8 million for water subsidies
- $31.4 million for education assistants
“Funding these core Government services is not what Royalties for Regions was designed for,” Ms Davies said.
“While Labor still supports 25 per cent of mining royalties going into the Royalties for Regions fund, they have completely trashed the concept on which the scheme was built.
“It is using our regional development fund as a quasi-piggybank to deliver core government services in the bush.
“The savings are then being ploughed back into the metro area for projects such as Metronet and the Ocean Reef marina.”
Ms Davies said Labor had “broken their contract” with regional WA.
“Mr McGowan went to the election saying he would retain every cent of Royalties for Regions,” she said.
“We now know that to be a falsehood.
“With Labor shifting $1 billion out of Royalties for Regions the program is dead in all but name.”