The West

Labor promises country fuel card increase (cloned for SW 1346128394)
Labor promises country fuel card increase (cloned for SW 1346128394)

Opposition leader Mark McGowan has made an election promise to expand the $500 fuel card program for country pensioners, as a part of his pledge to maintain Royalties for Regions.

Mr McGowan was in Bunbury this morning to set out his principles for the Royalties for Regions program, which he said would be retained under a Labor government.

Country aged pensioners would see their $500 fuel-card increased to $550 and could use it to buy bottled gas.

“The country fuel card is a great program which will stay in place, but it should also be in place for bottled gas,” he said.

“A lot of pensioners don’t have a vehicle and they rely on bottled gas in their houses where there is not reticulated gas.

“It’s an important priority.”

Labor also promised to spend $14.4m on an aged care facility in Carnarvon.

Mr McGowan dismissed the Nationals’ claim that the Royalties for Region program – which stipulates 25 per cent of mining royalties must be spent in the country – would be lost or reduced under a Labor government.

“People should not be fooled by a scare campaign by Mr Grylls, what need to understand is that we’ll keep this program, but spend it more wisely and more sensibly,” he said.

Mr McGowan said more Royalties for Regions funding would be spent on roads, housing, health and education and tourism marketing.

“Some of the priorities are dangerous country roads – the Nationals say dangerous country roads should not be funded by Royalties for Regions money, respectfully Mr Grylls, I disagree,” he said.

Royalties for Regions money was already being spent on core government business, he said.

“I think road that are killing people should have more funds put into them, and Royalties for Regions is a way of doing that,” he said.

“(Royalties for Regions) will be more targeted and wisely spent on what country people’s priorities really – dangerous roads, tourism funding, health and education and housing in regional communities – people will get more bang for their buck.”

Labor is yet to announce its final Royalties for Regions policy.

The West Australian

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