The Labor government’s Budget will introduce a new food tax on Australian families, right in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.
Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, said the new tax on farmers to pay for the biosecurity risk of international importers was senseless and would be passed on to consumers, which meant even higher grocery bills for all Australians.
“It is unfathomable the Labor government would ask farmers to pay for the biosecurity costs of importers from other countries,” Ms Landry said.
The Albanese government is also increasing the road user charge on truckies by six per cent, compounding each year, that will add to grocery bills for families, because transport companies can’t absorb that cost.
Capricornia will bear the costs to further cuts to regional infrastructure.
Labor has abandoned water security projects worth $872.5 million and put a razor gang to the $120 billion infrastructure pipeline, putting all regional programs in doubt.
Major infrastructure projects, such as the Rockhampton Ring Road, have a shadow of doubt cast over them as the Albanese government slashes critical nation-building projects.
“Not only is the Albanese government making us pay for their spending, they are also taking away our future by ripping away the tools we need to produce more and get it on your table cheaper.”
Labor will also force local communities to wait two years to access regional grant programs, with funding that was available in 2022 under the Coalition now delayed until well into 2024.
“Labor has pushed back critical funding needed for Capricornia, while only targeting projects worth more than $1 million. It means smaller projects like sports ovals, playgrounds and libraries will be ineligible for funding in most communities.
“Ripping up or delaying investments in roads, rail, bridges, dams and community facilities, while increasing costs on heavy vehicles and taking away regional grants programs, is not how we build a more prosperous, stronger and sustainable Australia.”
Chronic shortages in access to health services
Health access in Capricornia has been neglected through Labor’s failure to invest in bespoke initiatives to deal with shortages in medical professionals.
“Labor’s changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), allowing 60-day dispensing instead of 30, also risks unintended consequences, such as rural medicine supply shortages and pharmacists in Capricornia being forced to shut down.”
Capricornia struggles to find accessible GPs, but Labor is committing just $4.5 million over five years to train rural GPs through its Single Employer Model trials.
“Labor is throwing crumbs at increasing access to GPs for families in Capricornia.”
A worsening childcare crisis
Labor’s policies have failed to introduce one single new childcare place in Capricornia.
Michelle Landry MP said while affordability was impacting families, regional, rural and remote Australia also needed availability.
“Capricornia mums and dads have not been treated fairly. There is no improvement in regional childcare. Labor has failed to create one new childcare place, leaving Capricornia mums and dads no better off. Labor’s failure to help Capricornia parents has left them behind.”