Regional Victorians are reeling as the hits keep coming on several fronts, beyond the obvious pain of the Commonwealth Games cancellation.
The Games disaster continues to make headlines, but regional Victorians face so many more pressing challenges – recovering from floods, waiting lists for homes following horrific fires, and soaring homeless rates.
Families struggle as the Andrews Labor Government continues to deny support and turn a blind eye to their urgent needs.
The Commonwealth Games was trumpeted to create thousands of jobs and increase tourism for regional Victoria. Instead, everyone must now help pay the $380 million fee to break the deal, on top of other sky-rocketing costs related to the Games being scrapped.
Has there ever been a more glaring example of Labor’s financial incompetence and mismanagement? All regional Victorians are punished.
Not only was this yet another broken promise to add to the list, it was also supposed to be a chance for regional Victoria to be showcased to the world. Now, all that is left is a tarnished reputation, thanks to Labor.
Our communities need infrastructure and our roads are crumbling due to the continuous neglect of maintenance from the Government and hard working Victorians are struggling.
The Andrews Government gave regional Victorians only a slim 13 per cent of new infrastructure spending last year, despite being a quarter of the state’s population.
Victorians are continuing to pay more higher registration fees and yet still get less, with road maintenance funding slashed by 45 per cent since 2020, as well as a further 25 per cent cut this year.
Also, according to recent revelations, there will be virtually no Victorian road resurfacing program this financial year, not only leaving regional Victorians out again, it leaves them at increasing risk as road conditions impact driver safety.
While the Premier Daniel Andrews and his deputy Jacinta Allan sleep soundly, many Victorians are facing homelessness due to the housing crisis.
With 58,000 families waiting for social housing since 2021, the waitlist has exploded a further 15 per cent, and more than half of those households are eligible for urgent priority access.
And as Labor keeps ripping your money away, the rate of homelessness is rising three times faster in regional Victoria than in metropolitan areas.
After the horrific Gippsland fires more than three years ago and last year’s floods, there are many Victorians still desperately in need of homes and the list is painfully long.
Flood-affected communities are paying for the Andrews Labor Government’s incompetence as it selfishly refused to declare a state disaster, which led to Victorians locked out of the much-needed $1.8 billion Federal disaster plan.
It is fair to say it is time for Labor to face up to its mismanagement and provide regional communities the assistance they deserve.
There’s just too much pain on too many fronts.
Peter Walsh MP
Leader of The Nationals