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Country South Aussies let down by budget

The 2013 Labor Budget will do little to ease the stress on country South Australians, say Australian Greens Senators Sarah Hanson Young and Penny Wright.

"Labor has spent more time listening to mining companies, the big banks and their factions than the people in rural and regional communities," Senator Hanson-Young said.

"The Greens stood up for regional South Australia during the Murray Darling Basin debate while our colleagues in the old parties and those upstream tried to sell us down the river.

"We fought for the environment and for the communities that rely on the river to survive and, now that we have a Plan in place, we will keep fighting so that SA gets every last drop it has coming.

"Regional South Australians were hoping for some relief from the daily living pressures in this budget but all they got from Labor was more disappointment."

Senator Penny Wright said Labor's plan to delay extra money for schools by several years would hurt rural and regional communities.

"The Gonski school funding review said public schools needed $6.5 billion in extra funding, but in this budget money has just been shuffled from one area of education to another," Senator Wright said.

"There is not the cash injection those schools need urgently.

"A report last year showed students in rural areas were performing significantly below the levels of children in cities so it is country schools that could have really used the money."

Senator Wright also said more should have been done to provide long-needed mental health services in rural and regional areas.

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