Budget wash-up looks set to benefit Bunbury
IN the aftermath of the State Budget there are the obvious winners and there are the disgruntled losers who have spent the past week complaining about what this Budget didn’t do.
Predictably, the big losers are those electorates that did not vote Labor.
Down here it is the Nationals in Busselton who are really crying poor but what did they think was going to happen? This is politics and Labor was not going to miss the opportunity to stick the boots into those on the other side.
The fact Busselton and Margaret River missed out on the big quids should be music to Greater Bunbury because we have been playing second fiddle to these areas, who only had to cough and a politician would throw millions at them.
Budget announcements for this financial year included items for education and other capital works projects that actually have not got any money behind them and will not be funded until sometime in the future.
This is quite sneaky on the part of the Government because this budget should represent what is actually going to be funded in the next financial year and not past that point.
It might be clever marketing with a twist of spin to it but the truth would have been better.
Another target was the Royalties for Regions program and while butchering this program might have satisfied a need for political revenge, the decision was poorly timed and executed.
City-centric governments need to understand that the bush provides a substantial revenue stream and as such the bush needs a program that it can call its own and the Royalties program did just that.
This Government’s choice to use the money it gains from Royalties to fund major capital works programs like schools and roads that would normally be funded out of mainstream Government revenue is just a slap in the face for the bush. This aside, Bunbury looks like it will get some of the serious money that has passed us by for some time. This will give the city the chance to get its dream of a new waterfront precinct – a key plank in our economic future.
It will underpin our growth, provided other key economic drivers such as the redevelopment and expansion of the port also gets priority funding status.
The Government has a mountain of debt to climb and it gets points for having a crack at some of the real issues in the regions and will get more points next time around if it applies a little more finesse to their Budget preparation and execution.