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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Budget ‘a major disappointment’

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REGIONAL Queenslanders are feeling somewhat abandoned by Labor’s recent Federal Budget.

Last Tuesday, Labor handed down its first Federal Budget since the election, in May, and its first federal budget in almost a decade.

There are obvious ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ with every federal budget.

Evident ‘losers’ this year are grants and projects that Labor believes were only implemented by the Coalition to gain votes.

Member for Dawson Andrew Willcox has been very vocal in his support of the ‘Building Better Regions Fund’, however, funding for the project has been scrapped in the latest budget.  

Labor says it’s scrapping the program because grants weren’t awarded on merit, and it was noted that grants favoured National Party electorates.

Bowen Chamber of Commerce chairman Bruce Hedditch said the budget was a major disappointment.

“The Federal budget is a major disappointment for regional and rural communities across Queensland and Australia and displays a total disregard for country people,” Mr Hedditch said.

“In past years, ending in 2021, the mining industry has contributed $142bn in company taxes and $112bn in mining royalties, with these amounts expected to grow over the next decade.

“Yet Central Queensland has national infrastructure projects like the Urannah Dam and Hell’s Gate Dam stripped away.”

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has slammed Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the Federal Labor Government for short-changing Capricornia and Central Queensland in the budget.

“$10 billion in regional programs have been axed, including the Regional Development Plan, Regional Accelerator Program, Community Development Grants, and the Building Better Regions Fund,” she said.

Mr Willcox said regional families were getting left behind in this budget.

“The cost-of-living crisis is set to get worse under this budget,” he said.

“Drastic increases in grocery bills will continue to go up because of Labor and the budget would make the average family worse off by at least $2,000 by Christmas.

“Interest rates have already gone up and are predicted go up further under Labor, which is ripping hundreds of dollars out of households each month.

“Labor don’t understand regional Australians and what’s important in our communities.”     

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