Emergency Services Health Education Agriculture Public Transport | May 28, 2019
Labor’s city centric focus continues
The Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy has vowed to keep fighting for funding for important local projects after the Andrews Labor Government inflicted devastating cuts on country Victoria in today’s horror state budget.
“Today’s State Budget confirms the Andrews Government has no plan and no money for country Victoria,” Ms Kealy said.
“The Andrews Government has gutted regional development funding by abolishing the successful Regional Growth Fund set up by the Liberal Nationals in 2011. The fund has invested $1 billion over eight years into regional Victorian communities.
Ms Kealy said there was no excuse for Labor to overlook country Victoria.
“Regional Victoria is perfectly placed to welcome population growth, but Daniel Andrews simply doesn’t have a plan for decentralisation.
“Our farmers have been shunned with no money for council rates relief for drought-affected farmers, no commitment to a rural crime squad, a $48 million cut to the Agriculture Budget and a $2.8 million cut to agriculture research and development.
“Locally, Labor has once again failed to fund important projects across Western Victoria with virtually no funding allocated to local hospitals, police stations, sporting facilities, CFA and SES and a pittance offered to local schools and kindergartens.
“It is outrageous that Labor has lied to voters and broken their promise of $8.4 million in capital funding for Hamilton’s Baimbridge College who are desperate for a new school.
“The Warracknabeal community has been left stunned that Labor has once again failed to fund Stage 2 of the Warracknabeal Education Precinct.
“Labor previously funded only part of the Special Development School build and part of the Secondary College build, leaving the schools with the impossible decision of either working over split campuses when they simply do not have enough staff or just staying put and leaving brand new part-built schools empty.
“Labor have really stuffed this up and Principals, educators and students will have to work with Labor’s mess of half built schools.”
Labor’s disrespect for our emergency service volunteers also continues with no funding allocated to complete Stage 2 of the Hamilton CFA-EMV Airbase which plays a critical role in responding to emergency fire events in south-west Victoria.
Ms Kealy has been actively lobbying the Andrews Labor Government to provide funding to complete the project for five years.
“The critical role the Hamilton Airbase plays in south-west Victoria was never more evident than during the 2018 St Patrick’s Day fires, when over 50 fire-bombing flights were deployed from the base in one day,” Ms Kealy said.
“While this was a fantastic effort, many more aerial water bombers could have been deployed if Labor had completed Stage 2 of the project to improve refill and refuel times.
“Completion of the airbase was a key wish from the Gazette CFA brigade at the time of the fires and remains their highest priority for the region.
“Western Victoria has a strong and proud sporting culture but our local sporting clubs have also missed out with Labor failing to invest in projects that would have had a wide benefit to our region.
“And yet again no plans for the return of passenger rail to Hamilton and Horsham.
“Daniel Andrews has enjoyed record revenue in recent years but he has repeatedly failed to make a plan for investing in country Victoria.
“This appalling State Budget from Daniel Andrews confirms that the Premier has no plan and no money for regional Victoria.”
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