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New backflip on regional resource hub funds

The McGowan Government has backflipped on another threat to cut funding to regional services by announcing community resource centres in country towns will retain $13 million to keep operating.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan ordered a review into the centres’ funding last year, sparking fears that $5 million would be cut.

The 100 rural centres provide people with access to government information, help with other community services and provide assistance for business development.

“The McGowan Government has listened to regional community concerns about the future of community resource centres and will continue to fully fund each CRC,” Ms MacTiernan said.

In Albany to announce high-speed broadband for local farms, the minister said the Government was trying to manage Budget constraints.

But she added: “It is clear CRC funding should continue.”

Public pressure led to the Government abandoning plans to scrap WA’s schools of the air and there is still a strong campaign being waged to save Moora’s residential college.

But Ms MacTiernan wouldn’t be drawn on whether the latest backflip was to minimise the damage to Labor’s brand in the bush.

Nationals leader Mia Davies said Labor had underestimated the regions again.

“I sincerely hope this Labor Government thinks twice next time they sit around the table and discuss what regional services they can cut to fund their extravagant election commitments in Perth,” she said.

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