Federal Member for Throsby Stephen Jones welcomes the approval for the next stage of construction for the Shone Avenue upgrade at West Dapto and urges the Abbott Government to ensure funding for further regional infrastructure projects are not cut in the upcoming May Budget.
“Dapto is one of the fastest growing suburbs in the Illawarra and the West Dapto housing development is essential to make sure that local infrastructure keeps up with demand and the Illawarra economy continues to grow", said Jones.
“The previous Labor government awarded Wollongong City Council $13.92 million for the project - the largest amount of funding of any regional area under our Building Better Cities program."
"This was to ensure Dapto continued to grow and become the largest, most vibrant centre outside Wollongong."
“Funding for large-scale infrastructure projects like the West Dapto housing development must continue under the Abbott government”, said Jones.
“Prime Minister Tony Abbott has repeated on countless occasions he wants to be known as the ‘Infrastructure Prime Minister’. The 2014 Budget is his opportunity to make good on that commitment. Re-establishing funds for urban economic infrastructure must happen."
“All we've seen so far in the Government’s first seven months is tax cuts for the big end of town, tax hikes for low income earners, cuts to benefits, cuts to services and nothing but a deaf ear to the needs of the regional community.”
“The Government has already axed millions in funding from the Regional Development Australia Fund, designed for Local Governments to upgrade infrastructure in towns and cities across the country.”
“The problem is simple: Like previous conservative governments, the Abbott Government believes there is no role for the Commonwealth in urban policy.”
“What they fail to understand is that efficient cities are drivers of economic productivity and job creation.”
“With the right policies on regional infrastructure, like we see in West Dapto, local economies will flourish and turbo-charge growth of national productivity and jobs. The wrong policies today will stymie growth and make it harder for future generations.”
“If Tony Abbott is serious about keeping his promise on being the ‘Infrastructure Prime Minister’ he must provide certainty for ongoing funding for crucial local government projects in the upcoming Budget.”
“The future of regional Australian depends on it.”