May 15, 2024 | Latest News, News

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Gippslanders will be worse off under the Albanese Government’s third Budget as prices continue to rise and place pressure on local families, according to local MP Darren Chester.
The Federal Member for Gippsland said he was disappointed that regional Australia had been largely ignored in the Budget, with the government failing to invest in critical road, rail, telecommunications, and much-needed community infrastructure.
“Regional Australia is simply not on the radar for this city-focused Prime Minister, and there’s no funding for new infrastructure projects that would improve safety and productivity on our transport system and telecommunication connectivity, which are all vital for regional growth,” Mr Chester said.
“There’s no new funding for local councils to deliver community infrastructure, and the decision to launch an inquiry into the financial sustainability of local government is another broken promise and just a cynical attempt to stall action to deliver more support for six Councils across Gippsland.
“Before the 2022 Federal election, the Labor Party promised ‘fair increases’ to local government funding but has actually delivered cuts to regional programs which local Councils relied on.
“Instead of keeping its promise, we have yet another review from a government that has failed to deliver a single project under its regional grants program after almost two years in office.
“In the middle of a cost of living crisis, the burden will fall on family budgets as Gippsland ratepayers will be forced to fund the widening gaps in demand for new infrastructure, maintenance and critical services.”
Mr Chester said families were struggling with higher mortgages, energy, fuel and food bills while the Federal Government was adding to inflationary pressures in the economy.
“This is a government with the wrong priorities. It wasted two years and more than $400 million on the failed Voice referendum, and despite increased revenue, the Budget will be in deficit for years to come because of more wasteful spending,” he said.
“Since coming to government, the Labor Party has added 36,000 bureaucrats in Canberra but cut regional programs that would deliver safer roads and improved community facilities. At the same time, the Albanese Government has increased cost pressures on farmers and small business owners.”

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