Labor Leader Luke Foley has today laid out his commitments to regional and rural NSW if elected in 2019, including that 100 per cent of the proceeds of a Snowy Hydro sale will be spent on desperately-needed infrastructure.

In his Budget Reply speech today, Mr Foley reiterated Labor’s support for selling the state’s share of the Snowy Hydro scheme to the Federal Government – but only if every dollar of the proceeds are spent in regional NSW. The sale would also be on the conditional guarantee of ongoing public ownership of this Australian icon.

Unlike the Nationals, who have only committed 30 per cent of the proceeds to regional communities, a Foley Labor Government will ensure all of the $4 to $5 billion in proceeds will be used to improve regional schools, TAFEs, hospitals, roads, energy, water, cultural and sporting infrastructure.

In another key part of his Budget Reply speech, Mr Foley vowed to look to the opportunities that a new airport in Western Sydney can provide for primary producers and committed to working with stakeholders in smoothing out supply chains to ensure our world-class, quality produce can get to emerging markets in China and India – making sure NSW farmers benefit from a project that should be for all of the State.

In the lead up to 2019, Mr Foley will continue to visit the regions to hear directly from local communities about the Liberal Government’s neglect. Recently, Mr Foley travelled to the North Coast, Monaro, the Upper Hunter and this time last year visited Menindee Lakes as part of two-day tour of Broken Hill.

Today, Mr Foley also re-stated Labor’s commitment to help the people of Far West NSW get back on their feet as regional town populations fall and businesses struggle to attract and retain staff. A Foley Labor Government will abolish payroll tax for all small and medium-sized businesses in the Far West.

In May, Mr Foley asked the Premier to waive payroll tax for flood-affected companies in the North Coast region for 12 months – but that help has yet to come. Labor also makes this commitment.

In the Illawarra, Labor will secure the future of the steel industry and grow jobs in the tourism industry with an upgrade to the WIN Entertainment Centre. As well, Labor has previously laid out its Jobs Action Plans for the Illawarra and Central Coast - comprehensive strategies that back the potential of those regions.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

Under Labor, every dollar of the proceeds from the Snowy Hydro will be spent in regional NSW.

“Once again, the Nationals have failed to act. But Labor will.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Lands and Western NSW Mick Veitch

“NSW farmers are renowned for their clean, green quality produce and Labor wants regional communities to share in the benefits and opportunities of new infrastructure in NSW, like Badgerys Creek airport.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Regional Development David Harris

“The Deputy Premier talks big but when it comes to action for regional NSW this Government is missing the mark and failing. Labor has a real plan to boost the regions.”