Thursday, July 25, 2024

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HomeIssue 13Federal Budget to hit Centre hardest

Federal Budget to hit Centre hardest

NT Labor Senator Nova Peris (pictured) says the Federal government’s “broken promises” and budget cuts will hurt particularly the Northern Territory and Central Australia.
“Tony Abbott and Nigel Scullion have broken the promises they made to people in Central Australia,” Senator Peris says in a statement to the Alice Springs News Online.
“Nigel Scullion and the CLP promised to cut the cost of living.  Putting up the price of petrol twice each year is the exact opposite.
“In Alice Springs petrol is already 26 cents a litre more expensive than the Australia average. People down south complain about $1.50 but in many places in Central Australia it is over $2.00.
“None of the money raised from the new petrol tax will go to roads in Central Australia. Central Australia missed out on any new roads funding with the only projects in the budget being re-announcements,” says Sen Peris.
“People in Central Australia will now be hit with the $7 GP tax whenever they go to the doctor and an extra $5 if they need a prescription. Bulk billing services in Central Australia are already low and health care is more expensive than average. This will make it worse.
“More people will avoid the doctor and head to Alice Springs Hospital which is already bursting at the seams.
“Central Australia needs more investment in education and health not less. We have the lowest education and health outcomes in the country.
“Nigel Scullion promised no cuts to health or education but they are cutting $80 billion out of health and education which will hurt the Territory more than anywhere. The capacity and willingness of the Northern Territory Government to make up for the health and education cuts is extremely limited.
“The CLP also cut funding to health and education in their budget. They will not make up for the Federal Government’s cuts.
“There will be less funding for Alice Springs Hospital and other health providers such as the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress.
“Funding is being removed for schools and teachers and teachers in Alice Springs.
“Tony Abbott promised to be the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Australians. He promised to continue the current level of funding for Closing the Gap activities. He has broken that promise with half a billion dollars being ripped out of indigenous affairs. You cannot take out half a billion without affecting front line services.
“With a high indigenous population Central Australia will be particularly affected with less money coming into the economy as a result.
“The cuts to local government will mean less funding for Alice Springs Town Council who may be forced to increase rates. The cuts will also affect regional councils in Central Australia which already have limited capacity to raise their own revenue and face such unmet need.
“The Budget ends the funding for the Alice Springs Transformation Plan. The living standards in town camps will become even worse.
“Crime statistics show that 2013 was the most violent year in the history of Alice Springs. Alcohol related admissions to Alice Springs Hospital are up 87%.
“The majority of the violence is domestic violence.  Cutting the funding to Family Violence Prevention Legal Centres proves that Nigel Scullion is turning a blind eye to the violence and crime in Alice Springs.
“All other state leaders have attacked the budget for passing on costs to the States. Adam Giles has rolled over and agreed to let Tony Abbott and Nigel Scullion cut funding to the Northern Territory.”


  1. As in many political debates there is more heat than light emanating from the protagonists on each side. On one side we have a budget emergency that justifies the breaking of nearly every solemn promise made by Tony Abbott and his team in the recent election campaign. On the other we have an Australia that survived the GFC, retained a AAA credit rating and is the envy of the majority of the western world.
    Neither side share the detail of their projections that demonstrate the need for drastic and punitive action or that steady as she goes will get us there.
    It will be up to this paper and the media at large to seek that detail so that in two years we are making an informed decision rather than one based on who has the cleverest slogans.
    The last time we decided because of “axe the toxic tax” and look where we are now.


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