Media release: Budget big disappointment for South Coast

Media release: Budget big disappointment for South Coast Main Image

Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips MP is bitterly disappointed that despite the Morrison Government plunging Australia into one trillion dollars of debt, the South Coast has largely missed out on targeted local support, and fears many people will be left behind.

As one of the hardest hit regions from this year’s slew of natural disasters, local communities rightly expected the government to prioritise local projects to support economic recovery. However, aside from some already announced welcome funding for Booderee National Park, there are no projects for Gilmore in last night’s budget.

Nothing for the Princes Highway, nothing for the East Nowra Sub-Arterial Road, nothing for local social housing projects, nothing to help bushfire-impacted families rebuild.

The shovel-ready projects along the South Coast would help stimulate the local economy, create jobs and support local recovery, but the Morrison Government has largely ignored the needs of the region.

“I am really pleased to see Booderee National Park share in $233 million to upgrade its facilities, but if the government thinks this is enough for the South Coast – they are simply wrong,” Fiona Phillips said.

“The government talks a big game about helping drought and bushfire-impacted areas, but their actions tell a very different story,” she said.

This government has bitterly failed people over the age of 35 on unemployment benefits – they have been put on the scrap heap.

They have failed JobSeeker recipients with no plan to lift the permanent rate of JobSeeker from $40 per day.

They have failed to invest in social housing or in developing cheaper and cleaner energy.

They have absolutely failed our elderly with only 23,000 home care places, including very few much-needed Level 4 higher care places, while the waiting list for home care blows out to over 100,000 people.

They have failed to invest in child care and there is absolutely nothing in this budget to help women who have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They have failed the millions of workers on JobKeeper who have seen their payment cut by at least $300 per fortnight.

They have failed our local businesses, many of whom are struggling to survive, with their cuts to JobKeeper.

While there are measures that Labor will support such as tax relief for low and middle income earners, the South Coast has once again been left behind.

“Once again, the government has missed a golden opportunity to support our region. After everything we have endured this year, local people deserve better than this,” Fiona Phillips concluded.