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$400m Is Nothing New: Government Reannounces Acceleration Funding For Regional Projects

Labor Demands The Government Use Local Businesses & Supply Chains

NSW Labor is demanding the Government explain why it’s taken almost four months to allocate funding for small, shovel-ready infrastructure projects in regional NSW that could help kick-start the economy and boost employment during the recession.

The Deputy Labor Leader and Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Jobs, Yasmin Catley said it’s about time: “This $3 billion fund has been announced three times since May.  We can’t keep waiting for this money to be spent.  It needs to go out immediately.  It’s time the Premier stopped making announcements, and started doing something. "The Premier said $400 million from the previously announced $3 billion Jobs and Infrastructure Acceleration Fund will go to regional infrastructure projects such as showground and sporting field upgrades."

“Nowhere is stimulus spending more important that in regional NSW, which has been hit hard by bushfires, drought and the recession,” Ms Catley said.

“Why has it taken four months to allocate funding to small, shovel-ready projects? Construction should have already started. The Government claims to be about jobs, jobs, jobs but the Premier is so focused on Sydney’s CBD, regional economies have become after-thought.”

Ms Catley said the Government must not overlook local businesses and supply chains.

“The Premier and her colleagues are happy to re-announce funding and pose for photos outside construction sites, but they are reluctant to provide any real guarantees regarding job prospects in regional NSW.

“I don’t want to see contracts awarded to Sydney-based businesses if locals can do the work. We need to be creating opportunities for regional workers and businesses. If the goal is to kick-start regional economies then priority should always be given to local workers.”

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