Federal Nationals Leader David Littleproud says regional Australia is “getting its guts ripped out” by the federal Labor government.
His comments comes as the federal Labor government prepares to hand down a budget which is expected to include massive cuts to regional programs.
“This is all about politics, rather than this prime minister and this government governing for all Australians,” Mr Littleproud told Sky.
“We feel like the forgotten Australians. We’re all Australian. I think unfortunately this government just sees their votes in the city and they’ve forgotten about us. That’s not how Australia should be run,” he said.
“This is about taking away priority spending in infrastructure to resources and to the agricultural sector that paid the bills when many other parts of the economy were put under the doona for the last two years.
“What we’ve said to the government is be constructive – don’t rip the guts out of regional Australia. Actually sit down and constructively give us a sustainable funding model for infrastructure for the 30 per cent of Australians that live outside a capital city,” Mr Littleproud said.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Development Bridget McKenzie said the federal government is slashing spending to the regions to help prop up the Victorian Labor Party as it heads into an election.
Senator McKenzie said it appeared Victoria will be allocated a $2.57 billion windfall in this month’s Budget, while Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, would receive $1 billion in new funding.
“The Liberals and Nationals has a proud record when it comes to infrastructure spending, increasing the federal infrastructure investment pipeline at the March Budget to $120 billion to create new jobs, keep people and freight moving and driving economic growth,” Senator McKenzie said.
“This Budget is shaping up as a politicised Budget to support Dan Andrews re-election campaign. The only cuts they are making, supposedly to improve the Budget bottom line, are in regional programs,” she said.