Nationals Selling Short Rural New South Wales

The Nationals are trying to impress rural NSW with $500 million, but the electorate of Orange was promised $300 million in last year's by-election.

Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MLC Robert Brown called-out Nationals Leader John Barilaro for selling short rural communities with his so-called ‘Growing Local Economies Fund’.

“This announcement is only coming from the National Party because of the upcoming Cootamundra by-election, and it is clearly selling rural New South Wales short,” Mr Brown said.

“When you consider that the Nationals promised over $300 million in the Orange by-election alone, a $500 million state-wide fund barely cuts mustard. This is chicken-feed compared to what rural communities deserve.

“The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party want to see all rural areas get their fair share, not just one electorate.

“The Government announced a $4.5 billion budget surplus this year, so they can easily afford to provide 17 electorates with $200 million each with change left over. That would easily cover the current 15 National Party electorates, plus the electorate of Cootamundra and Philip Donato’s electorate of Orange. The benefits in increased economic activity and long term savings would easily justify this investment.

“Anything less is just an insult when you consider the increased costs of maintaining basic Government services in rural communities, including vital roads, hospitals and schools.  

“When you consider rural NAPLAN scores we’re clearly not getting bang for our buck right now and an urgent cash injection into basic services is needed west of the Great Dividing Range. 

Mr Barilaro may say that he has his hand on the cheque book, but he has the Liberal Party Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s hand on him, controlling the ledger. 

“This is just the National Party doing what they always do: throwing some cash about in the wake of an election while being ineffective the rest of the time as they do whatever the Liberal Party tells them.

“Rural New South Wales deserves better.”

Download Robert Brown's press release here.