One of the reasons why I so hate spin is that the desire to present things in the best light leads to distortion.
I say this because Ramana asked in a comment what the quid pro quo was in the deal between the two country independents and the ALP. For that reason, I put up Agreement between the Australian Labor Party and the Independent Members. The way I did it makes it a bit cluncky to load. The Australian has a PDF version that may be easier to read.
The headline treatment of the deal generally reads something like independents gain $10 billion for the bush. I have yet to analyse the document in detail, but the reality appears to be nothing like this. Regional Australia would have got some of this money anyway. What the deal does do, it seems to me, is to add some spending at the margin plus shift the timing of spend between metro and regional areas. The real content lies in these areas; the $10 billion number should be ignored.
I must say that my heart sank when I read some of the wording obviously supplied by the ALP side. It's full of that type of language so beloved by current governments. Everything is expressed in positive terms, great weight is placed on the things done, it's all packaged. This means that each sentence has to be critiqued for real meaning.
This doesn't mean that package won't bring real benefits to regional Australia, I think that it will, simply that it cannot be taken at face value and has to be analysed properly.
I will try my hand at this over the next day or so, looking generally at the package on this blog, at the specific New England implications on New England Australia.