Stealth stop to Royalties logo a blatant attack: MP

Taelor PeluseyAugusta Margaret River Times

Royalties For Regions has been dealt its first official blow with the State Government barring use of the program’s logo.

The directive published on the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries’ website states the logo was discontinued from July 1 and “should not be used for new projects, and/or new materials for existing projects”.

There was no formal announcement on the change, but it was confirmed today by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan, who told the Times the Government was aiming for a “more cohesive branding for new Government projects”.

“Our Government will not be having a ‘government within a government’ with its own rival branding, as was the case under the Liberals and Nationals,” she said.

Liberal MP Steve Thomas said the logo’s discontinuation was the first step towards restructuring RFR and redirecting funds to Labor’s election commitments.

The South West MLC — whose party foreshadowed cuts to the program leading into the State election — did not oppose branding or structural changes, but disagreed with the Government’s tactics.

“The issue is the sneaky way which it’s appeared on a website,” Dr Thomas said.

“Normally any rebranding is announced and made available because people obviously have to know, but this ones been snuck through when nobody was looking.”

Warren-Blackwood MLA and former Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the “blatant attack” sought to diminish awareness of the program and — despite Labor’s assurances — was the first step towards its demise.

“Mr McGowan prides himself on being accountable and transparent, so now is the time for him to explain his actions to the people of regional WA who deserve to know the likely future funding opportunities for their towns and region,” he said.

Labor flagged changes to the Nationals-brokered program leading into the State election but has been tight-lipped on its plans since coming to power, insisting funding decisions on projects like the Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport and the Margaret River Cultural Centre would only be outlined in next week’s Budget.

Dr Thomas and Mr Redman called for the Budget to provide a detailed and concise breakdown of all RFR projects, whether funded or not.

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