Budget a missed opportunity for communities doing it tough
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy has questioned why the State Government has not prioritised the areas hardest-hit financially by the COVID-19 pandemic in its 2020-21 Budget.
Ms Kealy said she was extremely disappointed that the Andrews Labor Government had overlooked large areas of the electorate in this year’s budget, including those struggling the most financially with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
She said while confirmed funding for Warracknabeal Education Precinct and Baimbridge College was long overdue and a testament to the tireless advocacy of these communities, she was extremely disappointed that the government had not committed any health funding in Lowan and very little cash for roads, despite some of the roads in the electorate being among the worst in the state.
“Independent research published by the ABC earlier this month showed communities in Lowan – particularly our border communities – were among the hardest-hit financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, however many of these communities have been left out of this budget entirely,” she said.
“As we’ve seen time and time again, the government seems to have concentrated many of its priority and big-ticket projects on Melbourne and has not paid enough attention to rural and regional areas.
“For example, West Wimmera Shire residents have had the dual challenges of COVID lockdowns plus the added immense stress and uncertainty of months of border closures and restrictions, yet there was not a cent in the budget for projects in this community.
"There are so many wasted opportunities in this big borrowing, big debt budget.
“While there are some long overdue funds for some of our local schools, this budget has completely missed the government’s own benchmark of delivering for all Victorians.”
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