COROWA mayor Fred Longmire has been left speechless by a Rudd government promise to bankroll central Wodonga’s revitalisation with an election promise of $5.86 million.
Labor’s Regional Australia Minister Catherine King yesterday revealed the funding, already announced from the latest round of the Regional Development Australia pool, would be honoured regardless of the election outcome.
Corowa’s saleyards project was also in the same funding round, but Labor hasn’t budgeted for it.
Corowa Council is sweating on $1.3 million from the federal government to start the saleyards upgrade.
“I am speechless,” Cr Longmire said.
“It is turning into a political circus.
“If either party is fair dinkum about development in regional Australia, our saleyards project stacks right up.”
Cr Longmire planned to speak to Farrer Labor candidate Gavin Hickey today about his party matching the promise made in Wodonga.
Mr Hickey couldn’t be contacted for comment yesterday.
Corowa Council had been unsuccessful with many federal government funding requests for the saleyards and was told Labor couldn’t execute the most recent round due to Labor going into caretaker mode ahead of the election.
Member for Farrer Sussan Ley remained supportive of the saleyards, but couldn’t guarantee the funding if the Coalition was elected.
“The RDA believes the Corowa saleyards is a worthy project, as do I. We were all disappointed the minister knocked it back before Labor went into campaign mode,” she said.