Australian Conservatives have welcomed the SA Liberals adopting their Royalties for Regions policy, with the state opposition pledging that money earned from mining would be directed to improving country roads.
The SA Liberals estimate the policy will deliver $750 million in additional road maintenance and repair funding to regional South Australia over 10 years.
Speaking to the Loxton News newspaper on the Liberals' policy backflip from their past opposition to Royalties for Regions, SA Conservatives MLC Rob Brokenshire said "“If the Liberals win government next March and the Australian Conservatives are returned to the Upper House, it would guarantee that this policy would get through and that our regions will finally have guaranteed investment that would be annexed for their use. Royalties for regions is a policy that I have pushed for because I believe it will deliver guaranteed investment which is necessary to develop our rural areas into vibrant regions with strong economies and provide socio-economic foundation necessary for job growth"
Writing in his weekly email to supporters, Australian Conservatives leader and South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi wrote "... last week a carbon copy ('Save Australia Day') campaign was adopted by the South Australian Liberals. Once again, I suppose we should be flattered but after sixteen years in opposition one would have expected them to have a few ideas of their own. Unfortunately for our State that doesn’t seem to be the case. A couple of weeks ago they also adopted Australian Conservatives MLC Rob Brokenshire’s idea for a royalty for regions program – an idea they refused to support when Mr Brokenshire put it to a vote some years ago."
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