Liberal plans reveal final betrayal of Royalties for Regions

Written on the 10 March 2017

The Liberal Party's election costings, released less than three days from polling day, have finally revealed what many suspected that the Liberals' election promises are based on a massive 40 per cent cut to Royalties for Regions.

Candidate for the Kimberley Rob Houston slammed the proposed cuts noting the clear choice between Liberal and Labor Party who will cut Royalties for Regions to the bone or The Nationals' plan to modernise the special lease rental paid by BHP & Rio Tinto.

"The Liberals waited until ten minutes to midnight to be honest with regional WA about their plans to cut Royalties for Regions to the bone," Mr Houston said.

"Both major parties would rather rip funding out of regional communities than stand up to the big miners and make them pay their fair share."

Mr Houston said while Labor and Liberal would keep the Royalties for Regions name, both parties would divert a substantial chunk of funding to infrastructure and services that should funded as part of general government expenditure.

"The net result is a massive cut to regional funding by both major parties by nearly a billion dollars over the next two years under the Liberals' plan," Mr Houston said.

"The Liberal Party have tried to deceive regional WA by attempting to hide these cuts by shuffling money around.

"Obviously they think regional people won't notice when they rip hundreds of millions of dollars a year out of our towns."

Mr Houston said the only way to save Royalties for Regions was to update the legacy state agreements to make sure Rio Tinto and BHP were paying rates that were appropriate for 2017.

"The Nationals fair plan for WA's future will enable us to continue to deliver the level of services, infrastructure and investment regional West Australians deserve," Mr Houston said.

"If the major parties get their way - Royalties for Regions will be a mere shell of its current form and will put regional projects and regional people back on the shelf."

For media enquiries contact Rob Houston on 0419 006 051.

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