The NSW Government has delivered a Sydney-centric budget that fails to deliver for rural and regional areas, says the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.
“It’s an absolute lie for this government to say this is a budget for the bush,” Party leader Robert Borsak said.
“Where are the major nation-building projects in rural NSW?”
“Where is the plan to reverse declining small-town populations and lower life expectancy?”
“There is absolutely nothing for the bush that compares to Sydney light rail or the stadium re-build”.
“Even much of the so-called drought assistance is the form of loans that push farmers further into debt”.
“Sydney gets grants and farmers get loans”.
Roy Butler, MP for Barwon, the Western NSW electorate covering 44 per cent of the state, says his people continue to feel neglected.
“There’s no funding for new hospitals, schools or major infrastructure in my seat”.
“We’re also not getting a rehab facility that we desperately need”.
During his election campaign, Mr Butler observed average life expectancy dropped by two years in the Far West of NSW since 1996, while it rose seven years in Sydney.
“We get minor tinkering in this budget, when what we need is a comprehensive strategy to reverse the long-term decline of rural NSW”.
Helen Dalton, a Griffith farmer and SFF MP for the southern NSW seat of Murray, questioned why the government has run up such a huge surplus when people in her seat still have to travel up to four hours to get to a hospital.
“Why aren’t we fixing our country roads and upgrading our hospitals now?”
“These major infrastructure projects are not going to get any cheaper”
“Sydney have had their splurge. The bush expected to have our turn during this budget.
“We are very disappointed the government has instead chosen to hoard our taxes.”