The lack of support for the Riverland and Mallee in this week’s State Budget was disappointing but not surprising Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said today.
Mr Whetstone said that while the Budget included $2.1 million for a Commissioner for Murray River, there was little else for the Riverland and Mallee.
“If we’re looking to the Riverland and Mallee, there is no hospital, health service or emergency upgrades funded for any of the regional hospitals in the Chaffey electorate.”
“There is no additional road maintenance funding or commitment to previous projects such as the Truro Bypass and the Budget failed to include any new education programs for the Riverland.”
“Having a Commissioner for Murray River will add another layer of bureaucracy, passing off the Minister's responsibility while there is zero commitment to investing in off-farm or environmental efficiencies to return water to the Murray Darling Basin Plan.”
“Biosecurity funding has been reduced and Tourism and Trade and Investment have also been gutted with high savings targets, which will impact mostly on regions like Chaffey.”
“There is no broad cost of living support and no tax relief as South Australians continue to suffer increases in fuel, electricity, and the cost of living.”
“Labor will cut more than $700 million from government agencies affecting services and public sector jobs, putting a strain on services.”
“Labor continues to make people in regional areas pay for big-ticket items like the $400 million for a tram crossing, while funding for regions and our environment has been cut.”
“The Malinauskas Government had an opportunity to address their ongoing history of neglect of regional South Australia however, they have failed to recognise the enormous contribution made to the State’s economy by the Riverland and regional SA.
“Agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to the economy, yet this Government fails to invest in the people and areas where this takes place.”
“All this Budget has given us is the same old Labor and the neglect of regional South Australia persists.”
“We will be further scrutinising the Budget through the estimates process which starts in two weeks.”