Central Wheatbelt MLA looks for more detail in State budget

Central Wheatbelt MLA and The Nationals WA leader Mia Davies is still assessing the impact last week’s State budget, delivered by Treasurer Ben Wyatt, will have on people living in the Avon Valley.

At the time of the Advocate going to press Ms Davies was looking for more budget detail but said she already had a number of major concerns.

“We can't find the funding for the Northam-Pithara Road, there was $18 million committed by us previously that seems to have disappeared,” Ms Davies said.

“There's been a real cut to Community Resource Centres (CRC) - $8 million over the next three years - and of course in the Central Wheatbelt there are a huge number of CRCs that provide really valuable services and resources to those communities.”

The Country Aged Fuel Card was also on the party leader’s radar.

“We have seen a real cut to the Country Aged Fuel Card as well, so from the looks of it, they've actually stopped applying a CPI increase, so it means that over time it will be a real cut because it won't increase as the cost of living goes up,” Ms Davies said.

“That one is really important if you were a pensioner living in regional WA you don't have access to public transport.

“So that was always based on you paying your taxes, but you don't have access to free train travel in the Perth metro area or the bus that goes past your front door.”

Ms Davis said the big one she was unable to find details on was the $46m originally set aside for the Ageing in the Bush program that included projects in Cunderdin, Tammin, Quairading, Beverley, Brookton and Pingelly.

She said there also used to be Regional Childcare Development Fund that was accessible for childcare centres in the Wheatbelt and the Great Southern.

Ms Davies said these small groups were small by volunteers.

“They have pulled the funding that we used to provide that allowed some of these centres to keep their heads above water and I think the outcome of that will be we will see some of those childcare centres have to close.”