Roads Youth | November 30, 2015

Funding drought on country Victorians

Sunday, 29 November marked one long year of drought for rural and regional Victoria. I’m not referring to local weather conditions, but the funding drought imposed on country Victorians by the city-centric Andrews Labor Government.

Instead of rebuilding and renovating local schools and growing our future generations, providing them with the best possible educational environment, we are instead wondering which relocatable building will be ripped out of our school yards next week.

And wouldn’t it be great if we were now turning the first sod of the Grains Centre of Excellence in Horsham, cementing our position as world leaders in grain research. Instead, 50 year old glass houses are neglected and the plans for growth wilting under a Labor Government that cannot see the benefit of investing in our region’s key economic driver of agriculture.

We are not continuing the Coalition’s firm commitment to get our roads management program back on track, but our roads are instead being ground to dry dirt and rubble after a fatal 17% cut to the roads asset management budget and scrapping of the Coalition’s $160m Country Roads and Bridges program.

All the good people of country Victoria are asking for is our fair share of public money, and this is something that has and will never happen under a Labor Government.

25% of Victoria’s population live in country Victoria, but Labor have only allocated us a paltry 2.9% of major infrastructure funding.

Even worse, Labor’s proposed Port of Melbourne sale is a dud deal for regional Victoria, with Labor sending a mind-blowing 97% the proceeds of the port sale back to Melbourne, setting aside a miniscule 3% of the funds raised back to country Victoria to support the primary producers and manufacturers that work hard to ensure we have product to export through the port.

I certainly will be doing all I can to ensure we break the funding drought imposed by the Andrews Labor Government, and will continue the fight for our fair share of investment in the Lowan electorate.

Emma Kealy

Member for Lowan

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