Roads Health Emergency Services Education Police Public Transport Sport and Recreation | May 02, 2018
Western Victoria still getting a raw deal from Daniel Andrews
The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP said the Andrews Labor Government’s latest State Budget offered a raw deal to communities across Western Victoria.
Ms Kealy said she was disappointed Labor had again failed to fund important projects across Western Victoria with no funding allocated to local hospitals, police stations, sporting facilities, CFA and SES and a pittance offered to local schools.
“Yet again, Daniel Andrews has failed to deliver for the Hamilton region and Baimbridge College by not funding their much needed redevelopment,” Ms Kealy said.
“This is a huge blow for the Baimbridge College community that have been working hard to secure funding, especially when Baimbridge was promised funding by the Education Department less than six months ago.
“Warracknabeal school communities have been left stunned that Labor 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. Now the schools have been left with the impossible decision of either working over split campuses when they simply do not have enough staff, or just stay put and leave brand new part-built schools empty.
“Labor have really stuffed this up, and its Principals, educators and students will have to work with Labor’s mess of half built schools,” she said.
Local sporting clubs had also missed out.
“Western Victoria has a strong and proud sporting culture but Labor has failed to invest in projects that would have had a wide benefit to our region,” Ms Kealy said.
“It’s a testament to the work of Cr Tom Houlihan and the Harrow community that they finally received funding for redevelopment of the recreation reserve, an investment that is long overdue,” she said.
Ms Kealy said Labor’s Budget confirmed there would be no work done to return rail services to Horsham and Hamilton under Daniel Andrews.
“It’s extremely disappointing Labor failed to match The Nationals’ commitment to undertake the vital $4 million business case to extend V/Line train services to Horsham and Hamilton,” Ms Kealy said.
“The Budget also failed to provide any commitment to the Hamilton-Horsham coach route which would provide an essential north-south connection for our region.
“Labor’s latest Budget pours $25 billion into metro cost blowouts, but leaves local families and businesses no better off meeting the pressures of a growing cost-of-living.
“Despite Labor previously funding a business case in the last budget for a Networked Grains Centre of Excellence, a project raised through the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership, this project has now dropped off Labor’s radar. What’s the point of funding a business case if you have no intention of following through with support to make it a reality?” she said.
Ms Kealy said Labor’s disrespect for CFA volunteers continued in this budget.
“There has been no funding allocated locally for the CFA or SES and no ultralight vehicle for the Gazette CFA brigade which was identified as an essential piece of equipment that would have greatly assisted to battle the recent devastating fire event,” Ms Kealy said.
“Daniel Andrews has fought tooth-and-nail to tear our CFA apart. Unlike Labor, The Nationals will fight to protect those who protect us,” she said.
The Liberal Nationals will restore the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges program axed by Daniel Andrews and provide approximately $1 million to each of Victoria’s 40 rural councils each year for four years to improve our local roads.
“Before the last election, Daniel Andrews made the same promise that he is making now about investing in roads managed by Victoria’s rural councils, but shortly after being elected he changed his mind and decided this money would be better spent fixing roads in his own metropolitan electorate of Mulgrave,” Ms Kealy said.
“Proving Labor has no idea about country Victoria, Daniel Andrews announced a Grampians Cycling Plan and said it is in the Mallee region. Causing further confusion, the Grampians Region Cycling & Trails Infrastructure, Business and Master Plan was in fact completed in June last year. Taxpayer funds would have been better spent on laying tracks rather than redoing an already completed plan.
“The Andrews Labor Government continues to offer a raw deal to our communities in western Victoria,” she said.
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