Barker MP ‘wrong about government investment’

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Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Barker MP ‘wrong about government investment’

Ivisited the Limestone Coast last year for the opening of Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre.

What struck me about the region, along with its renowned raw beauty, was its community.

Regional communities like the Limestone Coast give Australia its character and bolster our economy, which is why the Albanese Labor Government is putting regional Australia at the centre of its plan for a prosperous and resilient future.

We’re investing in the infrastructure, skills, jobs and services that will stimulate regional economies and build thriving communities.

After a decade of Coalition neglect, Local Governments have received record funding in the past two years under Labor.

We have increased road safety funding to historic levels, progressively doubling the Roads to Recovery program to $1b per year and growing the Black Spot funding to $150m per year.

This means more money than ever before for your local councils to spend on maintenance such as fixing potholes and making roads safer to drive on.

The seven councils of the Limestone Coast have benefitted from this, together receiving almost $24m to invest in their roads over the next five years – nearly $10m more than they were forecast to receive under the previous government.

We’re also investing in major projects that benefit the Limestone Coast, including $400m in the National Freight Highway Upgrade Program, which includes upgrades to the Dukes Highway and $140m on projects that include Limestone Coast sections of the Princes Highway.

As for regional grants, we have launched two new programs valued at $1b – Growing Regions and the Regional Precincts and Partnerships program – and we have done the work to reform the application process.

The Growing Regions program is a highly competitive, merits-based program which includes a multi-party panel assessment.

We developed this new process to restore integrity to a system which the previous government besmirched.

While not all projects that applied were successful, the good news is the program is funding a new childcare centre in Loxton, an investment in the Barossa creative industries and the protection of Lake Nookamka’s environment and campsites.

But it’s not just infrastructure and transport where we are delivering for our regions.

We hear that residents are doing it tough, which is why, in just under a month, every taxpayer in the Limestone Coast will receive a tax cut, and every household will see a $300 credit automatically applied to their electricity bill, with small businesses receiving $325.

Mr Pasin seems to have forgotten about the mess his government left behind and I urge him to read the Auditor General’s report into the Coalition’s Building Better Regions Fund to jog his memory.

While he and his Opposition colleagues are focused on getting angry, in the Albanese Government we are focused on getting things done.

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