Opinion: Country communities being let down by Labor decision-making

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Opinion: Country communities being let down by Labor decision-making

The Albanese Labor Government has made a series of policy decisions since being elected two years ago that highlight their disdain for our regions.

It’s blindingly obvious that Labor does not value the economic and social contribution that our regional communities make to the nation.

From removing productive water from our horticultural sector in the Murray Darling Basin to banning a sustainable, profitable, and ethical live sheep export industry, it’s quite evident the Albanese Labor Government is more about playing the politics of attracting inner city votes than it is about the long-term sustainability and growth of our regions and the farms that support them.

Make no mistake, this anti-regions, anti-farming mindset is woven into every decision they make

Even their centrepiece regional grant program, Growing Regions, is falling short of delivering for the regional communities.

Regional Australia has suffered a two-year funding drought under Albanese Labor and this pain will now be extended for over 300 unlucky regional communities deemed unworthy of Growing Regions grants by the Minister Catherine King, including here in the Limestone Coast.

Despite being assessed as eligible and suitable by both the Regional Development Department and a multi-party Parliamentary panel, over 300 applications for funding, such as the Mount Gambier and Districts Saleyards re-development were denied funding.

Disappointingly, only two-thirds of the funding promised for Round One of the Growing Regions Program was actually allocated, meaning $93.4m remains in Treasury coffers in Canberra, not funding projects in our regions, powering our regional communities.

The fact the Minister rejected an application for $7m to fund vital upgrades at the Mount Gambier saleyards is quite simply insulting.

The rejection of this project by the Albanese Labor Government is not only a huge economic opportunity lost to the Limestone Coast but it’s putting the long-term viability of the Mount Gambier and Districts Saleyards at risk.

With drought gripping and interest rates biting, now more than ever our farmers need support.

As a community, we need to stand with them and show our support for the Mount Gambier and Districts Saleyards project.

That’s why I have joined forces with the Mount Gambier Combined Agents to ask the community to sign a petition calling on the Federal Government to commit to the necessary funding to Support Our Farmers and Save Our Saleyards.

Click here to sign the petition

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