Browsing articles in "Rural australia"
Wednesday 14th May 2008 - 6:15 am

Country people”left out” Truss

by Alan Thornhill

The National Party leader, Warren Truss, says country people have taken a “$1 billion hit” in Labor’s first budget.

He said Labor had stripped more than that amount in just three key areas, regional development, communications and agriculture.

Truss said that the Rudd government had saved $436 million by abolishing the Regional Partnerships and Growing Regions programs.

But it had put back just $176 million into regional development.

And existing agricultural development programs, worth $334 million, had been replaced with measures worth just $220 million.

And nearly all of those related to climate change.

Truss also said Labor had scrapped the Opel contract, which would have provided fast broadband to all Australians.

That program had been worth $959 million.

Labor, now, was merely promising to extend the previous government’s Broadband Guarantee, at a cost of $271 million.

Road and rail funding, in rural Australia, had also been slashed.

He said Labor’s first budget had demolished much of the good work Coalition governments had done for country people, over the past 12 years.

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Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
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