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Liberal Party election costings, released less than three days from polling day, have revealed what many suspected – the Liberals’ election promises are based on a massive 40 per cent cut to Royalties for Regions.
Last night, the Liberal Party confirmed at ten minutes to midnight what the Labor Party have been saying for weeks – that they are committed to change Royalties for Regions.
This election, voters have a clear choice. They can cast their vote for Liberal and Labor Party cuts to Royalties for Regions or they can back The Nationals to deliver our fair plan for WA’s future underpinned by our plan to increase the special lease rental paid by the big miners.
Both major parties would rather rip funding out of regional communities than stand up to the big miners and make them pay their fair share.
Labor and Liberal say they will keep the Royalties for Regions name, but regional people know the major parties will divert a substantial portion of the funding to infrastructure and services that should be funded out of consolidated revenue.
The net result is a massive cut to regional funding by both major parties – by nearly a billion dollars over the next two years under the Liberals’ plan. They’ve tried to hide these cuts by shuffling money around and this shows the contempt the big political parties have for regional people.
The only way to save Royalties for Regions is to update legacy state agreements to make sure Rio Tinto and BHP pay rates that are appropriate for 2017. This new revenue source will enable us to continue to deliver the level of services, investment and infrastructure West Australians deserve.
The major parties think regional people won’t notice when they rip hundreds of millions of dollars a year out of our towns.
Make no mistake, the only way to save Royalties for Regions is to ensure we have a strong contingent of Nationals in State Parliament.
If the major parties have their way, Royalties for Regions will be a pale shadow of its current form - this will put regional projects and regional people back on the shelf.