Deputy Leader of the Coalition, Peter Walsh
Today’s State Budget shows that the further you live from Melbourne the less you’ll get from the Andrews Labor Government.
The 2016/17 Budget makes some big promises, but actually delivers little. It will make almost no positive difference to the lives of rural and regional Victorians in the coming year.
The few major projects promised for regional Victoria will not get the majority of their funding for years and will take even longer to actually be completed.
For example, in 2016/17:
• The Ballarat rail upgrade will receive just 6 per cent of its funding promise and the project won’t be completed until mid-2020.
• The Shepparton Hospital will receive 3 per cent of its funding promise and won’t be completed until 2021.
• The Road Safety Initiative will receive just 18 per cent of its funding promise and won’t be completed until 2021.
• The new Yarrawonga bridge will receive $625,000 – which pays for an artist’s impression and not much more.
A plan without funding is just a wish list.
Rural and regional communities need infrastructure projects that start today, not five or 10 years down the track.
The Andrews Government is also failing to deal with Victoria’s booming population. While Melbourne’s congestion grows every day, there is no strategy to encourage people to move to and invest in our regions.
Regional Victoria is well-placed to welcome population growth, but without a strong vision from the Government we will miss this opportunity.
This budget is typical of a city-centric Labor government: hollow promises, new taxes that hurt households and businesses, and scraps off the table for regional Victoria.
Media contact: Sarah O’Connor 0432 074 888 email@example.com