Opposition leader Michael Daley has continued his record of rebranding Nationals announcements, further highlighting his lack of vision for the regions.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro today welcomed Country Labor’s endorsement event for Nationals policies, adding he was disappointed he was unavailable to attend in person, but was pleased that several of his policies were there.

“After neglecting the regions for 16 years in office, Country Labor offered no new ideas on its vision for the next four years, and the decision to match some of our key policies only demonstrates Labor’s support for what we’re doing in regional NSW,” Mr Barilaro said. “If imitation is the best form of flattery, I can only say that after country Labor’s event, I’m blushing.”

“Even for ‘the grandson of a Kempsey dairy farmer’, one trip to Broken Hill does not make Michael Daley an expert on regional NSW, and today he’s proven that.”

John Barilaro

There was no talk of a North Coast strategy and nothing on regional youth.

“Despite Labor having already spent the funds from the Snowy Hydro Legacy fund several times over, Mr Daley couldn’t bring himself to mention that either, perhaps because Country Labor is broke,” Mr Barilaro said.

Country Labor’s key jobs announcement was a regional procurement package that’s high on rhetoric and low on detail, and would actually jeopardise key hospital and school projects like Tweed, Coffs Harbour, Manning Base, Griffith Base and Wagga Wagga Base hospitals and Jindabyne Central and Monaro high schools.

Additionally, NSW Labor claimed to put local jobs and businesses first, but their payroll tax policy will force tens of thousands of NSW businesses to pay more tax than they will under the Nationals in Government.

Country Labor has vowed to stage a plebiscite on local government, but wouldn’t say who will pay for it.

“This is sheer laziness from the Labor opposition and its poor cousin, Country Labor – it’s all talk and no detail, but worse, it’s reckless,” Mr Barilaro said. “NSW Labor leader Michael Daley claims he’ll match the government’s historic announcement on 5000 extra nurses and midwives for the State’s hospitals, but doesn’t even know what he’s promising or how he’ll pay for it.”

“This is typical Labor, blowing up the budget in their desperation to match our fully-funded commitments.”

John Barilaro

“The Nationals in Government have legislated to ensure that every cent from the Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund will be spent in regional NSW,” Mr Barilaro said. “NSW Labor neglected infrastructure spending in the regions, creating a huge backlog. The Nationals in Government have more than doubled that infrastructure spend – reaching over $50 billion – which has supported jobs and training opportunities for our youth. Country Labor offers little more than a pale imitation.”