West Australian Nationals leader Mia Davies has slammed the McGowan government for their lack of commitment to Esperance projects ahead of her visit to the region for her party’s state conference.
Ms Davies expressed her concern for the longevity of Royalties for Regions and claimed Labor were taking funding away from the regions and injecting it into metropolitan projects.
“What’s overarching all of our regional communities is the future of Royalties for Regions and how regional communities will be able to access funding to deliver some of these projects,” Ms Davies said.
Ms Davies labelled the Esperance TAFE redevelopment, Indoor Stadium rebuild and the future of the Tanker Jetty as some of the more significant issues the town currently faced.
She said Labor’s decision to review local project’s funding commitments wasn’t fair on the community.
“There’s a choice to be made between the TAFE or the stadium when the previous government had made a commitment to both of those. They’re both very important projects and the reason that a choice is having to be made by this Labor government is because they don’t have a financial plan,” she said.
“Their only financial plan is to cut funding from regional projects so they can fund their five billion dollars worth of metropolitan projects.”
We had an extraordinary financial mess. We have to engage in budget repair. We have been very unashamed about this.
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan hit back at Ms Davies’ comments stating that Labor were committed to keeping RfR.
“Of course we were going to have to review the projects promised by the Liberal party and by the National party,” Ms MacTiernan said.
She said continuing on with the previous government’s budget trajectory was “simply not doable”.
“I find it extraordinary that the National party would pretend that we could continue to spend money in the way that they were spending money when the state was readily… going backwards,” she said.
“We had an extraordinary financial mess. We have to engage in budget repair. We have been very unashamed about this.
“Of course we were going to have to review the projects promised by the Liberal party and by the National party.”
She said any reasonable person should be able to understand that the previous government were “running the budget into the ground”.
“We got into government in March. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to take five minutes to review the budget,” she said.
While Ms MacTiernan discussed financial decisions at a state level, she failed to answer Esperance specific questions.