They cut $2.5b but ‘support’ us
DESPITE announcing the Coalition would cut almost $2.5 billion from the Regional Infrastructure Fund, National Party leader Warren Truss said they were still committed to rural Australia.
Mr Truss was visiting Page and Richmond on the last day of the campaign and said money from the Regional Infrastructure Fund was tied to the mining tax, which had not delivered on its forecast.
"Essentially the money wasn't there, so the things that were promised from the tax were unfunded by Labor," he said.
Mr Truss made a commitment to honour "all projects that have signed contracts" but said they consider anything else to be "a Labor Party election promise" and they didn't feel obliged to honour those commitments.
He said the Coalition would create a new $1 billion "stronger regions program" that would provide money for projects in rural and regional areas where there were "low socio-economic indicators and high unemployment".
"So areas like this would benefit from the fund ... and it's fully funded from normal revenue sources," he said.
Mr Truss said as well as committing to finishing the Pacific Hwy upgrade by 2020, the Coalition had announced $300 million to upgrade bridges, a commitment to continue the Roads to Recovery program and $100 million to fix mobile phone black spots.