La­bor bid to change R4R mix

Pilbara News - - State Election 2017 - Dy­lan Ca­porn

Op­po­si­tion Leader Mark McGowan has pledged to even out the dis­tri­bu­tion of the Roy­al­ties for Re­gions pro­gram af­ter promis­ing poli­cies worth al­most $300 mil­lion across the South West over the last three days.

Mr McGowan last Wed­nes­day launched La­bor’s plan for Bun­bury, with more than $100 mil­lion in com­mit­ments, rang­ing from $30 mil­lion for an up­graded Aus­tralind ser­vice to $20 mil­lion to ex­pand the bed ca­pac­ity of Bun­bury Hos­pi­tal.

The an­nounce­ment came af­ter he promised al­most $30 mil­lion worth of up­grades in Al­bany last Mon­day, and more than $140 mil­lion for the Col­lie-Pre­ston re­gion the next day.

Mr McGowan said the prom­ises would be funded with Roy­al­ties for Re­gions money, say­ing cur­rent al­lo­ca­tion lev­els were weighted against the South West in favour of other re­gions.

“We want to make sure it’s fo­cused, not just on some re­gions, but on all re­gions — the South West hasn’t re­ceived it’s fair share and this is go­ing to make sure that the South West, in con­junc­tion with our pack­age for Col­lie-Pre­ston, will re­ceive our fare share,” he said.

“If you have a look at the fig­ures, I mean frankly, the South West was get­ting $3000 (a per­son) while the Gas­coyne was get­ting $34,000 a head.

“It hasn’t been ad­min­is­tered fairly and I want to make sure there’s some fair­ness in that pro­gram.”

Na­tion­als Leader and Roy­al­ties for Re­gions ar­chi­tect Bren­don Grylls said La­bor had a “zero track record in re­gional WA”.

“La­bor is cur­rently com­mit­ting money it doesn’t have on sand­bag­ging seats for its 20-year plus veteran Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans in elec­torates that have seen the mas­sive ben­e­fit of our Roy­al­ties for Re­gions pro­gram,” Mr Grylls said.

WA La­bor Leader Mark McGowan and Pil­bara can­di­date Kevin Michel. Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

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