30/08/2017 - 11:12

Nats fear Royalties for Regions may be scrapped

30/08/2017 - 11:12

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Nationals WA leader Mia Davies has accused the state government of draining funds from the Royalties for Regions program into the $3 billion Metronet plan, saying an internal directive banning future use of the rural fund’s logo was the beginning of its winding-up.

Mia Davies says the pulling of the Royalties for Regions logo is a nail in the coffin. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Nationals WA leader Mia Davies has accused the state government of draining funds from the Royalties for Regions program into the $3 billion Metronet plan, saying an internal directive banning future use of the rural fund’s logo was the beginning of its winding-up.

Ms Davies said a directive published on the website of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries has stated the Royalties for Regions logo had been discontinued as of July, and couldn’t be used for new projects or new materials for existing projects.

The former sports and recreation minister said by forbidding the use of the logo, the new state government was reducing transparency of where and how much funding would be delivered under the program.

“The decision is a nail in the coffin for the Royalties for Regions program,” Ms Davies said.

“In opposition, Labor never liked the program and they now resent the affinity that regional Western Australians have with Royalties for Regions.

She said Metronet made up the lion’s share of the Labor government’s $5 billion worth of election promises, and with dwindling revenue streams the party would not be able to pay for the rail project with the existing transport budget.

“The treasurer must find the money elsewhere and, unfortunately for country people, elsewhere is Royalties for Regions,” Ms Davies said.

“By failing to acknowledge the source of funding, it is easier for the McGowan government to use Royalties for Regions to pay for projects that should be covered by general government revenue, or reduce the amount delivered.

“We are waiting to see just how transparent the new government will be in their first budget.” 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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