$500 million for Orange, but Where's the Money Coming From?

Nationals MP Rick Colless announced the $500 million Growing Local Economies Fund, but said he's going to travel around rural New South Wales to tell them why Orange deserves the money.

Philip Donato MP

Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party Member for Orange Philip Donato welcomed a new State Government promise of $500 million for his electorate, but questioned the source of the money and whether it will actually be delivered.

The news came from a National Party media release on August 29, announcing the Growing Local Economies Fund.

"I have always said that Orange deserves better, and every day since my election I have been working to ensure we get the attention from Government that we deserve," Mr Donato said.

"Now it appears that National Party MLC Rick Colless will be doing a rural roadshow telling every other communities why Orange deserves $500 million."

Mr Donato pointed to the media release by National Party MLC Rick Colless announcing the funding.

"In the coming months, I will be travelling around regional NSW to further explain how the Regional Growth Fund can benefit the Orange region," Mr Colless said in the statement. 

Mr Donato questioned the source of this extra cash.

"Make no mistake, this $500 million promise directly for Orange was only made because the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party won the Orange by-election," Mr Donato said.

"I want to see more funding for Orange, but the rest of rural New South Wales as well. When we saw cuts to the Murrumbidgee Local Health District in my neighbouring electorate, how can we suddenly be getting another $500 million?

"The unanswered question here is whether this is a new $500 million promise for the Orange electorate or whether it includes the $320 million promised in the Orange by-election - guaranteed no matter who won.

"Has the National Party found a way to strip other rural areas of the 30 per cent of the Restart NSW Fund and redirect it to their targeted electorates?"

The Restart NSW Fund is composed of the proceeds of the State Government's billion dollar asset sales schemes, including the electricity distribution network and the Land Titles Office.

Download Philip Donato's press release here.

Download the National Party's statement here.