Nats to keep up fight against Labor’s regional cuts
As The Nationals WA gear-up for our annual State Conference — to be held in Manjimup this weekend — it is worth reflecting on the past 18 months since Labor won Government.
Sadly, it will go down as one of the more tumultuous periods in regional Western Australia’s history.
For the first time in almost 100 years the Country Women’s Association shed its apolitical skin and picked up placards in protest.
Regional children pleaded for their schools to be kept open via online videos.
A Community Resource Centre manager broke down in front of the State’s media as the looming threat of budget cuts weighed heavily on her shoulders.
Farmers were forced to defend their business and, inexplicably, their moral compass after their Agriculture Minister abandoned them.
Yet through all the heartache, uncertainty and sleepless nights, regional West Australians managed to do what regional West Australians have always done.
We banded together. We found a voice. We stood up. We changed the outcome.
In the past 12 months The Nationals and the communities we represent have successfully forced the Labor Government to reverse its plans to eradicate the School of the Air, shut residential colleg- es in Moora and Northam, stop the South West Rescue Helicopter from flying and cut Community Resource Centre funding in half.
That said, our job is not done.
As predicted, Labor has moved to kill off Royalties for Regions — stripping more than half a billion dollars from our flagship program — to pay for water subsidies and school buses.
The fight to reverse the suite of education cuts — including the uncertain future faced by the Bridgetown and Pemberton camp schools — rages on.
My colleagues and I have been emboldened by the passion and ingenuity of the grassroots campaigns to stand up to Labor’s cruel cuts to core services.
We will continue to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with these groups in the weeks and months to come.
The McGowan Government has underestimated time and again the level of fight which resides in the pit of the stomach of every regional West Australian; from parents to students, farmers and small business owners.
The ability to stand together and get an outcome will be even more critical come 2021 when we will once again look to assert our influence to put regional West Australians back at the front of the queue. Mia Davies, Nationals WA leader