LIBERAL AND NATIONAL DISPUTE HOLDING WA TO RANSOM

Today in Parliament, Labor’s spokesperson for regional Australia, Stephen Jones, has slammed the Liberal and National Parties for a dispute which threatens the allocation of funding for projects in Western Australia.

The Liberal and National Party are at logger heads over boundaries for the Building Better Regions Fund, which allocates $300 million for regional development projects.

In WA the Liberal Member for Canning, Andrew Hastie accused the Nationals Minister, Fiona Nash of redrawing the map to exclude Mandurah and Peel from the fund, and had subsequently said he’s received personal assurance from the Prime Minister that the boundaries would be reinstated.

Stephen Jones said the dispute highlights a concerning fracture between the two parties which threatens the allocation of vital resources.

“This festering dispute between the Liberal and National Parties is damaging the interests of people in Western Australia, which now has the highest unemployment in the country.”

“The Prime Minister and Minister Nash need to urgently address the issues around boundaries and allocation of funds to ensure the people of WA aren’t held ransom to party politics.”

“Allocations from the Building Better Regions fund are vital to strengthen WA’s regional economy, and Western Australians deserve an answer before they go to the polls next weekend.”

Stephen Jones said numerous Members have raised concerns over the division of funds overseen by Minister Nash.

“In August last year the Member for Wakefield wrote to Minister Nash about excluding the regional area of Gawler from the fund,” said Mr Jones.

“The Member for Macquarie who represents the Blue Mountains in NSW made similar complaints.”

“This is critical funding that has really missed the mark for regional Australia.”

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