State Labor Budget Fails The Pub Test

The Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone has called out the South Australia Labor Government for overlooking the Riverland and Mallee’s needs in the 2024-25 State Budget.

Mr Whetstone says the budget is big talk in the city and little to no action in the country, which will increase strain on local healthcare facilities, small businesses, and roads.

“The $20 million funding for flood-affected Riverland roads is a four-year planning exercise with no commitment to upgrades and no real action,” Mr Whetstone said. “The Truro Freight Route, Wentworth Road, the Lyrup Causeway, Old Sturt Highway and others are all in need of urgent repair.”

“I am committed to working with the community and all levels of Government to see these roads improved through to completion.”

“Healthcare in the Riverland and Mallee is an issue of ongoing concern that people speak to me about right across our region, and the State Budget has not delivered certainty for our regional health services, particularly mental health,” Mr Whetstone said. “The Government has spruiked $2.5 billion into the health system, prioritising metro Adelaide, yet there is little commitment for additional money to flow to our Riverland and Mallee hospitals.”

“Despite the promise of no new taxes, the State Government’s revenue collection has markedly increased,” Mr Whetstone said. “While every household and family face a cost-of-living crisis, Labor is collecting more taxes.”

“Cost of living pressure will balloon through an increased Emergency Services Levy and government fees – levies expected to disproportionately impact regional ratepayers.”

“My biggest concern is that while Labor racks up almost $50 billion in debt, it leaves our future generations to clean up their mess.”

Mr Whetstone said that while the Budget included a $30 million allocation for emergency fruit fly response, there was little else for the Riverland and Mallee primary industries.

“I was hopeful we would see funding to support the Wine Industry and struggling grape growers, and I am disappointed this did not eventuate.”

Mr Whetstone said the Government had failed to recognise the enormous contribution made to the State’s economy by the Chaffey Wine industry.

“Agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to the economy, yet this Government fails to invest in the future of one of the state’s largest economic exports.”

“This is another budget full of empty promises from the State Labor government. People in Chaffey should ask themselves: are they better off under this Labor government?”

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