WA hits out at Canberra after missing out on agricultural funding

The Western Australian Government has claimed more than 1,500 of the state’s workers will miss out on long-term jobs after the Federal Coalition Government declined the State’s funding application for two important irrigation projects from the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

According to the WA government, the two projects were the Myalup-Wellington project and the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme.

It is understood in the statement that in June 2017, the state government wrote to Federal Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce to confirm it would commit $56 million for the two projects to secure a sustainable water supply for growers and support agricultural jobs in WA’s South-West.

Each project had committed funding from the private sector and the State Government’s commitment was subject to the Federal Government funding.

The state government reiterated in it’s statement that it’s financial commitment to the projects remains the same and the WA continues to be committed to securing funding from the Federal Government.

“This is yet another snub to Western Australian taxpayers from the Federal Coalition Government,” said WA Water Minister David Kelly.

“Yesterday’s decision by the Federal Government means more than 1,500 Western Australians have missed out on long-term jobs.

“I am incredibly disappointed by the Federal Government’s decision.  After all, it was the previous Western Australian Liberal National government that made a pitch for Federal funding in the first place,” said Kelly.

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said, “This is extremely disappointing for growers in the South-West:  we prioritised these projects in our review of Royalties for Regions because they were job creators for the region.

“We have a realistic goal to double the value of our horticultural output in WA but we need real investment from the Federal Government to be able to reach that potential and create new jobs across regional WA.”

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