The Liberal Party’s election costings, released less than three days from polling day, have finally revealed what many suspected – that the Liberals’ election promises are based on a massive 40 per cent cut to Royalties for Regions.
Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Dave Grills MLC slammed the proposed cuts noting the clear choice between Liberal and Labor Party who will cut Royalties for Regions to the bone – or The Nationals’ plan to modernise the special lease rental paid by BHP and Rio Tinto.
“The Liberals waited until ten minutes to midnight to be honest with regional WA about their plans to cut Royalties for Regions to the bone,” Mr Grills said.
“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.”
Mr Grills said while Labor and Liberal would keep the Royalties for Regions name, both parties would divert a substantial chunk of funding to infrastructure and services that should funded as part of general government expenditure.
“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,” Mr Grills said.
“The Liberal Party have tried to deceive regional WA by attempting to hide these cuts by shuffling money around.
“Obviously they think people in places like the Goldfields-Esperance, Kimberley, Mid West, Pilbara and Gascoyne regions won’t notice when they rip hundreds of millions of dollars a year out of our towns.”
Mr Grills said the only way to save Royalties for Regions was to update the legacy state agreements to make sure Rio Tinto and BHP were paying rates that were appropriate for 2017.
“The Nationals fair plan for WA’s future will enable us to continue to deliver the level of services, infrastructure and investment regional West Australians deserve,” Mr Grills said.
“If the major parties get their way, Royalties for Regions will be a mere shell of its current form and will put regional projects and regional people back on the shelf.”
For media enquiries contact Dave Grills MLC on (08) 90711 500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org