Local Federal Members, Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones, today welcomed the release of a comprehensive Labor plan by Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Anthony Albanese, to promote productivity, sustainability and liveability of regional cities including Wollongong.
“In Government, Labor made investing in regions a priority and funded over $865 million in local projects in the Cunningham electorate alone. The Abbott Government has ignored the Illawarra in his first Budget – he has axed $50 million in seed funding for the Maldon Dombarton Rail link and sacked our Local Employment Coordinator and we have seen no new investment in infrastructure for our region.
“We need to be investing in our regions for job creation and economic prosperity. Anthony Albanese’s comments today reinforce Labor’s commitments to regions like the Illawarra.
Stephen Jones said the previous Labor Government committed $7.4 million in federal funding to kick-start the Home of Soccer at West Dapto from the Regional Development Australia Fund.
“Since the election, the Abbott Government has been systematically cutting funding for regional projects all around the country, including the Home of Soccer here in West Dapto.
“The project had been announced for funding and detailed in the budget, so for the Abbott Government not to proceed with its development was just outrageous.
“As one of the most popular sports in the region, the Home of Football has overwhelming support across the community.
“It is a significant economic and social initiative that will generate hundreds of new jobs for the region and increase our sport-based tourism. The Abbott Government needs to do the right thing and get behind these projects in regional communities like the Illawarra”, said Jones.
“Labor invested in the NBN to help our regions compete with their metropolitan counterparts. The wind-back of the NBN roll-out will also have a negative effect on regional economies as people are forced into our cities to access fast and reliable internet connections.
“The announcement today demonstrates investing in our regions is a priority for a future Labor government,” Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones concluded.