McCormack announces health Budget funding

Riverina has secured nearly $17.5 million in health infrastructure funding despite the toughest Federal Budget in a quarter of a century.

Nationals’ Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said the Griffith Community Private Hospital Development had been allocated the $11.388 million needed for the project and Hillston’s Multipurpose Service Redevelopment received $6 million.
“I know how much this will mean for those communities which have worked so hard to ensure their submissions were successful,” Mr McCormack said.
“Having updated, decent facilities in centres in the Riverina also eases the pressure on Wagga Wagga Base Hospital, which gained $55.1 million in last year’s Budget, as the major health facility in our region.”
Whilst acknowledging the local health funding, Mr McCormack said the Budget was not otherwise friendly for regional Australia.
Labor has stripped $5.5 billion from defence which, considering Wagga Wagga is a tri-service city, is sure to have an impact, Mr McCormack said.
“The cuts ensure that as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product spending on defence is now at its lowest level since 1938,” Mr McCormack said.
“Labor has badly let down the disability sector, giving just $1 billion over four years to start the National Disability Insurance Scheme when the Productivity Commission said $3.9 billion was needed.”
Mr McCormack was critical of the Government’s deferral of $941 million of vital Murray-Darling Basin infrastructure money to 2015-16.
“Spending on roads is the lowest it has been in a decade,” Mr McCormack said.
“Aged care will cost a whole lot more thanks to this Budget which, overall, is a figure-fixing exercise in order to produce an illusionary surplus.”
Mr McCormack questioned Labor’s claim of achieving a surplus when Labor has increased the Commonwealth’s borrowings limit by $50 billion to $300 billion.
“We’ll be paying $8 billion on interest per annum courtesy of Labor’s economic mismanagement ... that’s about $22 million each and every day,” he said.
“The fact the carbon tax was mentioned just once in the 11 pages of the Treasurer’s Budget speech – and then referred to merely as carbon pricing – will anger many families in Wagga Wagga who will now pay dearly for their city being listed as one of the 248 so-called worst polluters in Australia.”

Cristy Houghton