Joint media release
Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development
Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson, Senator for Victoria
The new Labor Government is continuing its vendetta against rural and regional Australia with the confirmation it will abolish the Coalition Government’s Building Better Building Regions Fund (BBRF).
The BBRF is a highly popular program which supports projects in rural and regional communities to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional and remote communities into the future.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Transport and Regional Development, Senator Bridget McKenzie says the Labor Party has confirmed rural and regional communities’ concerns in the lead up to the Budget by completely scrapping the BBRF.
“The Labor Government continues to prosecute the mistruth that regional funding projects are a waste when these projects actually deliver social and economic benefits to local communities and our nation as a whole.” Senator McKenzie said.
Hundreds of regional communities across Australia have benefited from important facilities taken for granted in the cities such as art galleries, museums, sporting precincts, aquatic centres, health facilities, community halls and upgrades to regional water infrastructure.
“The BBRF has delivered in spades for regional Victoria and it is shocking that Labor has axed this highly successful program which has transformed lives and livelihoods,” Senator Henderson said.
“This is nothing short of political bastardry and demonstrates, once again, that Labor could not care less about regional communities. Victorian federal Labor MPs Richard Marles, Libby Coker, Lisa Chesters, Sam Rae and particularly the responsible minister, Catherine King, should hang their heads in shame.”
“After the Albanese Government’s decision to provide $2.2 billion for the disastrous suburban rail loop in Melbourne, nearly 90 per cent of the Victorian infrastructure spend in Labor’s Budget, the axing of the BBRF is another kick in the guts for regional Victorians,” Senator Henderson said.
“Labor has slammed the door shut on many important projects seeking funding under round 6 of the BBRF including the expansion of the Kids Plus disability centre in Waurn Ponds Geelong and the Bendigo Art Gallery redevelopment,” Senator Henderson said.
“It becomes clearer every day to us that creating jobs, driving economic growth and building stronger regional and rural communities into the future is not a priority for the Labor Government,” Senator McKenzie concluded.