Shadow Minister for Primary Industry and Rural Affairs, Mick Veitch, has slammed the Nationals for supporting the $2.2 billion knock down and rebuild of Sydney stadiums while thousands of farmers continue to struggle through drought.
Mr Veitch said that he had taken a bi-partisan approach to drought assistance policy in NSW, but the stadiums policy needed to be called out for wasting precious taxpayer money.
“Michael Daley and Labor have taken a bipartisan to direct drought assistance. We won’t politicise it.
“But we won’t back down on stadiums. Farmers and rural communities are telling us this $2.2 billion Sydney stadiums splurge is the wrong priority. They have every right to feel angry with the Nationals.”
Daley Labor’s top 10 positive policies on drought are:
- Providing an additional $1 billion for a Safe Water Safe Future fund to improve water security and quality in regional communities
- Topping up the Farm Innovation Fund with another $350 million and maintaining current funding levels of direct drought assistance
- Waiving Local Land Services’ charges for all farmers
- Waiving rents for 1,700 western lands leaseholders
- Funding a new drought mental health package which includes training and employing 50 mental health outreach workers dedicated to supporting drought-affected communities, an extra $20 million to partner with not for profit mental health groups in regional areas to complement existing services and an extra $3 million for improved technology for rural tele-health initiatives
- Spending an additional $50 million on weeds and pests
- Appointing a Dairy and Fresh Food Advocate to stop price-gouging of farmers and primary producers
- Doubling funding for Landcare to $32.5 million
- Providing an additional $11.25 million for frontline biosecurity efforts
- Extending the wild dog fence
Mick Veitch said: “These are just some of the many commitments Labor is making in the regions.
“Upgraded hospitals and new schools also make up Labor’s list of priorities across NSW because we will put schools and hospitals before Sydney stadiums.”