Budget 2023 - Regional Australia left behind under Labor

Wednesday May 5th 2023

Federal Member for Nicholls, Sam Birrell MP, says the Budget is a typical big-spending, big-taxing Labor Budget that doesn’t tackle inflation or ease costs-of-living.

“We needed a Budget that reduces inflation and reins in spending to combat the cost-of-living
crisis facing all Australians,” Mr Birrell said.

“After less than a year in office, this Labor government’s spending will increase by $185 billion.

“Labor cannot spend its way out of its cost-of-living crisis and this budget doesn’t do anything to
ease the pressure on families in Nicholls.”

Mr Birrell said a six per cent rise in truck taxes per year for each of the next three years will add
5.2 cents a litre to fuel costs, and Australian farmers will be taxed for the biosecurity controls that
need to be imposed on foreign importers.

 “Add in rising energy costs and it is clear this budget fails hard-working Australians right at a time
when they needed a plan to address inflation and reduce cost-of-living crisis,” Mr Birrell said.

Mr Birrell said key regional spending had been pushed out to 2024 with grants programs
announced in October not even opening for expressions of interest until July.

“The budget isn’t the whole story, with the Shepparton Bypass and hundreds of other projects in
the $120 billion infrastructure pipeline over the next decade under review,” Mr Birrell said.

“That is code for cuts, and money being stripped from critical projects like the Shepparton Bypass
to be redirected to capital city projects.”

Mr Birrell said $250 million in new funding for roads is a fraction of what is needed.

“After two wet years and major flooding our road network is a mess, you can’t drive anywhere
without dodging potholes and dangerously deformed surfaces,” he said.

“Under this budget our roads will get worse before they get better.”

“Regional Australia is responsible for a lot of the revenue including agricultural exports from this
electorate and while this Labor Government happily pockets that revenue it fails to reinvest in the

“We want Australians to do well, but at the moment we are being held back by a government with
no economic plan for the future,” Mr Birrell said.

“Millions of hard-working Australians have been left behind in this budget and regional Australians
are still looking for real solutions to workforce shortages, access to childcare and funding for key
infrastructure and services.”

“We deserve better.”

Media Contact:

Media Advisor Federal Member for Nicholls Sam Birrell
Morgan Dyer
0412 832 474