Labor bid to change R4R mix
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.