ONE TRILLION DOLLARS OF DEBT AND STILL NOTHING FOR THE ILLAWARRA

Local Federal Labor MPs were astounded that despite the Morrison Government plunging Australia into one trillion dollars of debt, there was not one project for the Illawarra.

The Prime Minister and the Treasurer are happy to use BlueScope and the Illawarra as a backdrop for their media doorstops but they have failed to deliver one single cent of investment in infrastructure in the Illawarra. 

Nothing for the Picton Road, nothing for the Maldon-Dombarton Rail Link and nothing for the Appin Road. No plan to accelerate the upgrade of the Princes Highway. These projects are needed to both ensure that our arterial roads are safe and that we can grow our economy and jobs in our region by connecting the Illawarra and our Port with south-west Sydney and the Aerotropolis.

The Government have invested $15 million in a steel processing and galvanising plant in Whyalla to construct transmission towers but, despite their flying visits to the Illawarra, have failed to invest in one single manufacturing project here.

This Government has also failed older workers with workers over the age of 35 on unemployment benefits thrown 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 developing cheaper and cleaner energy.

The big announcement for aged care home care places – is a smokescreen. There are over 100,000 people currently on the waiting list. The list grows by more than 10,000 a year. The 23,000 new packages will just keep pace with annual growth, and there are very few much-needed Level 4 higher care places.

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 some good initiatives in this budget such as tax relief for low and middle income earners and investment in mental health services which Labor will support, unfortunately the Illawarra has again been forgotten when it comes to investment in our region.