The Reserve Bank’s decision to slash the cash rate to the new low of 0.5 per cent is welcome but won’t be enough to help the Illawarra and South Coast through the looming economic crisis.
We are calling on all banks, including our Illawarra based Banks to pass on the cut in full so that local households have more money in their pockets to spend in the local community. After four interest rate cuts in 10 months, it is clear that the Reserve Bank cannot do this alone. It is time for the Government to Act to support local households and businesses.
We need a plan for the country and a plan for the region. Clearly the Prime Minster doesn’t have one, so local Labor MP’s are proposing he adopt the proposals we developed for the local economy prior to the last election.
Local infrastructure projects – shovel ready, big and small will provide much needed stimulus to the local economy. In the Illawarra and South Coast this could include upgrades for:
- the Princes Highway,
- the Picton Road
- Appin Road
- restarting the long-stalled Maldon Dombarton Rail Link
- Shellharbour Hospital redevelopment
- Shoalhaven Hospital redevelopment
- A new Eurobodalla Hospital
Smaller community infrastructure projects include:
- A new South Coast Surf Life Saving Branch headquarters and training centre,
- Upgrading the home of netball at Fred Finch Park in Berkeley
- and the HARS Museum in Albion Park.
- Investing in local infrastructure such as shared pathways and community facilities.
Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips said the best thing the Government could do was provide further direct support for local businesses struggling in the aftermath of the bushfires.
The Reserve Bank, the business community, Labor and even members of the Morrison Government have all acknowledged that rate cuts will not be enough to turn the local economy around. This has been ignored by the Prime Minister and Treasurer.
The Illawarra and South Coast are crying out for economic leadership and an economic plan, but Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg have been totally unwilling or unable to come up with either.