Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton has serious concerns about the Labor Government’s $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund Bill damaging Australian manufacturers.
With power bills rising for households and businesses, the Labor Government has been making deals with the Greens which once again attack the resources sector. The National Reconstruction Fund will pour $15 billion into industry but excludes areas such as coal, gas and native forestry.
Without affordable and reliable energy Australian manufacturing is likely to suffer considerably.
“The Labor Government have caved to demands from the Greens to push this Bill through Parliament and I have no confidence in it,” Mr Coulton said.
“Power prices for hundreds of thousands of Australians are set to rise by more than 20 per cent in the next few months and the last thing we need right now is to shun energy producers.
“Our manufacturers rely on cheap energy to make things onshore – but if the Labor Government doesn’t start to support our energy suppliers and bring power prices down this will force more manufacturing offshore – that means less jobs for Australians.
“While the resources and forestry industry are the only industries singled out for prohibition in this Fund, every industry is being affected by increases in power prices. The Labor Government says it wants to build our industrial base and boost regional economic development, but without affordable and reliable energy I fail to see how this can be achieved.
“Another area of concern is that smaller businesses will be less able to access assistance under this Bill than they were under the Coalition’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy, which the Labor Government is seeking to replace.
“I question how this money will be spent. What I don’t want to see is the National Reconstruction Fund Bill enabling the Government to install a Labor-picked Board to spend up to $15 billion of taxpayer funds on Labor-picked priorities. Labor priorities rarely result in a good outcome, especially for people in the Parkes electorate.”
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