Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Nationals News

Duncan calls on major parties to commit to Regional Local Governments

Nationals Statement

The city based political parties must state their commitment to regional local government before the State election on 9 March, according to Nationals candidate for Kalgoorlie, Wendy Duncan.

Ms Duncan said that in December 2009 Liberal Local Government Minister John Castrilli announced that the government planned to amalgamate local governments and decrease the number of elected representatives.

“If The Nationals did not hold the balance of power in government that plan would have been done and dusted,” Ms Duncan said.

Ms Duncan said that The Nationals do not support forced amalgamation of local government believing that it is a false premise that this action will achieve efficiency and sustainability.

“We just have to look at Queensland where the State government is considering reversing a number of forced amalgamations. They now see that amalgamations have removed local decision making abilities and resulted in poor outcomes for regional communities.”

“There is no doubt that efficiencies and improved sustainability can be achieved from co-operation and partnering with compatible shires, but if The Nationals win the balance of power in the 2013 election we would block any forced amalgamations.”

“I want to know where Labor and Liberal stand on this issue. It is critically important to the Shires in the Kalgoorlie electorate,” Ms Duncan said.

Ms Duncan also challenged Labor and Liberal to come clean on their plans for the Country Local Government Fund.

“Labor’s Ben Wyatt has publicly stated that a Labor Government would abolish the Country Local Government Fund and other MP’s do not deny this,” Ms Duncan said.

The Country Local Government Fund has delivered over $400 million of vital investment to local governments through individual and regional projects. The Fund was aimed to address the $1.5 billion infrastructure backlog that was identified by WALGA.

“What I want to know is, if Labor and Liberal say they are going to spend Royalties for Regions on roads and rail, where is the money coming from? I think it is through the abolition of the Country Local Government Fund.”

The Country Local Government Fund, Menzies has an expanded caravan park and mainstreet upgrade, Leonora has its new sporting and bowls complex and Laverton has improvements to its Sports Club and seal on sections of the Outback Highway.

In Kalgoorlie-Boulder the fund has provided a major contribution to the Burt Street upgrade and earthquake recovery, the Ray Finlayson Sports Complex and the joint archive facility for all local governments in the region.

The #wa2013vote website will be kept online so politicians promises and statements can be checked until the end of next WA election in 2017, and after.