Labor’s Stephen Jones and Fiona Phillips have welcomed the long-overdue South Coast Regional Jobs and Investment Package but said it was a missed opportunity for the Minister for Regional Development, John McVeigh, to outline the Government’s plan for the Regional Growth Fund and Regional City Deals.
The Turnbull Government is in disarray and it has taken far too long for these projects to proceed. More than $500 million of government-funded regional projects have been delayed because the Coalition is more preoccupied with their internal divisions rather than delivering for regional communities.
If the Minister wants to be taken seriously then he must outline the Government’s plans for the long-delayed Regional Growth Fund and Regional City Deals.
In November 2016, the Government promised regional communities an opportunity to access city deal funding but has failed to deliver on that promise. The fact is regional development bodies and local councils have been left out in the cold after developing projects and plans based on this commitment.
The Turnbull Government has now failed to deliver on regional development, failed to deliver construction funding for the Nowra Bridge and failed to address rising youth unemployment.
Regional Australia has run out of patience with this Government. It’s distracted. It’s divided. And it’s not delivering for regional communities.