Editor's view: the NSW mini-Budget

YESTERDAY I said we’d be in for a bumpy ride, but I didn’t realise our region would be so savagely gutted by Premier Nathan Rees’ mini-budget.

Services and programs have been lost across the board, except for rail cuts – but only because the NSW Government got rid of our rail services in a previous mini-budget.

More lives will be tragically lost with the slashing of funding for the Pacific Highway and the deferment of major projects such as the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale upgrade.

This mini-budget will be devastating for many families living on the Northern Rivers, particularly with the loss of the school student transport scheme and fuel subsidies.

But, most of all, businesses have been hard hit and in this economic climate this budget will cause some to close and some to start sacking workers.

Increased land taxes will certainly put a halt to development and affordable housing projects, and will give no relief to the rental market.

The deferment of the $40 million tourism strategy also will be a cruel blow to the region economically, and will slow further growth appreciably.

It is all very well for this Government to say it must cut funding to these areas, but why then is it still splurging on other areas such as the V8 Supercar race to be held in Sydney?

The heartless decisions made in this mini-budget will be affecting real lives in ourregion with job losses, lack of education resources and cutbacks to transport and much-needed services.

Premier Rees needs to pay a visit to our region to see the full impact of his Government’s decisions on real people.

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