COALITION FAILING ON REGIONAL CITIES AGENDA

The Turnbull-Joyce Government is too preoccupied with its own internal disputes to deliver on its promises for regional Australia.

In November 2016, the Government acknowledged:

“… our regional cities face a different set of challenges, including higher unemployment and the effects of a transitioning economy, and their ongoing prosperity is a core focus of our cities policy.”

The Government promised:

“a stream of City Deals specifically for regional cities to maximise their unique advantages and support long-term growth. Details of the competitive process to select regional City Deals will be announced in early 2017.” [1]

It is now more than 15 months since that promise and the Government is failing to deliver.

The Turnbull-Joyce Government has delivered three Ministers for Regional Development, and a ton of scandal and confusion but no regional city deals.

The fact is, that regional development bodies and local councils have been misled. They have developed projects and plans on the promise that a new deal would be forthcoming but all they have received from the Government is deafening silence.

The failure to deliver a regional round of cities deals comes is on top of:

  • The failure to advance the $272 Regional Growth Fund which was supposed to be ready in October
  • The failure to advance seven out of the ten Regional Jobs and Investment Packages

Over $500 million in project funds is being denied to regional communities because the Government is in turmoil.

The Coalition has cut investment on rail, roads and other infrastructure and now left regional Australia locked out of this important funding opportunity.

In contrast, Labor has developed detailed plans for investing in jobs and infrastructure in Regional Australia including:

  • The full $176 million needed to progress Rookwood Weir in Central Queensland
  • $75 million for the Townsville City Port Widening
  • $50 million for the new Nowra Bridge

 

[1] Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor MP, 9 November 2016