The Coalition’s delay in releasing guidelines for the $272 million Region Growth Fund has left regional Australia high and dry.
280 days on from announcing the fund in the 2017 Federal Budget and, still, the Government has not provided a single shred of detail about how this program will work or when funding will become available.
In May 2017, the then Minister, Senator Fiona Nash, said that guidelines would be finalised “as soon as possible.” Then in October – when pressed in Parliament – the Minister said that the guidelines were imminent.
Nine months on and you have to ask, when will the Coalition get their act together and do what they said they would in May last year?
The fact is that time and time again, the Coalition has left regional communities out in the cold; the same communities – battling higher levels of unemployment, particularly youth unemployment – where this funding would be greatly appreciated.
Too often, the Coalition talk a big talk on regional issues but they don’t walk the walk. It’s time the Coalition get their act together and make good on their commitments, without delay.
Shadow Minister for Regional Communications
Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government