Sydney sports stadiums are being prioritised for NSW Government spending ahead of country schools, hospitals and roads, according to the NSW Labor party.
NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley says recent independent figures confirm the NSW Government is failing to honour its promise to make sure a third of the money from the sale of state assets, including the poles and wires, goes to regional NSW.
A report by the NSW Auditor General shows that in the past five years regional NSW had received just 19 per cent of the available funds from Restart NSW – a number that fell as low as 14 per cent for the last financial year.
The $12.9 billion Restart NSW Fund was set up in 2011 to pay for major projects including public transport and roads, local infrastructure in regional areas affected by mining, hospitals and government workplaces.
The National Party, however, say the 30 per cent target for regional spending remains on track.
“The 30 per cent regional and rural funding target is not an annual target. Rather, it’s a target to be met over the life of the Restart NSW Fund,” a spokesperson said.
“The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government has already committed or reserved over 30 per cent of Restart Funding to projects in regional and rural areas”.
Shadow Minister for Regional Development David Harris is not convinced.
“It is unjustifiable for the Premier to talk about an unlimited amount of money to be poured into two Sydney stadiums and yet kids in the regions are in schools with busted toilets and leaky rooves. This is about the regions getting a fair share”.
“Just a fraction of the money that has been wasted on some Sydney infrastructure projects could make a big difference to rural and regional NSW”.
Helen Dalton, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate at the recent Murray by-election, agrees.
“The Government continue to hoodwink regional communities.”
“It is not fair that while Sydney receives the lion’s share of roads, hospitals and infrastructure spending from critical assets sales, our community continues to suffer.”
“I will continue to fight for our fair share of funding for hospitals, roads, and small business.”
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