Daniel Andrews’ latest State Budget confirms he is a Premier with no plan and no money for Regional Victoria, says Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria Peter Walsh.
Under Daniel Andrews, Regional Victoria is being robbed of funds while the Premier blows the budget on metro projects.
Now we know why Daniel Andrews hid his horror budget from Regional Victorians before the Federal Election:
- Labor has axed the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund – there is now no dedicated grants investment program for regional Victoria
- Labor introduced more new taxes, despite dodgy Dan’s promise to voters of no new or increased taxes
- There’s no funding to replace the slow, old, unreliable VLine trains for passengers on the Warrnambool, Swan Hill, North East and Bairnsdale lines
- There’s no funding to expand rail services for the people of Mildura, Horsham and Hamilton
- There no funding for the desperately needed Swan Hill Hospital
- There’s no funding for the Mildura South Sporting Precinct
- There’s no funding to complete the $260 million Shepparton bypass, despite the Federal Coalition providing $208 million
- There’s no contribution to complete the Princes Hwy works
- There’s no funding to complete upgrades at schools including Shepparton, Warracknabeal, Benalla, Bairnsdale, Baimbridge, Korumburra, Foster, Kyabram, Cohuna and more.
- Daniel Andrews likes to say he’s ‘delivering for all Victorians’ but that’s just not true if you live in Regional Victoria.
Labor has starved regional communities of funds ever since they came to office and this year’s State Budget is no different.
As well as axing the Regional Growth Fund – the $1 billion dedicated regional investment program – Daniel Andrews has also slashed Regional Development Victoria’s base funding which will mean program closures and job losses in regional communities.
The program successfully helped businesses to move to Regional Victoria, like bringing more than 200 jobs to Maryborough when True Foods relocated, and invested in important community assets like the Mildura Riverfront Precinct. Where will these funds come from now?
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 R&D.
The only thing Regional Victoria can take some comfort in is the return of the Federal Liberal Nationals Government – a government that thankfully does have an exciting vision for decentralisation and plans that will support and grow our regional communities.
While Daniel Andrews starves the regions, the Federal Liberal Nationals Government is delivering by investing billions into critical projects like the Rail Revival, water and irrigation projects, Swan Hill’s hospital, Shepparton’s bypass, Gippsland’s Princes Hwy and more.
The difference between these governments could not be more stark.
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