The Andrews Labor Government has outspent itself with a city-focused State Budget that delivers little for regional Victorians.
Country people’s resilience has been stretched to the limit this year, first by catastrophic bushfires and then two waves of coronavirus shutdowns that have blown a hole in once thriving local economies.
Today’s State Budget doesn’t deliver the boost to jobs and businesses that is desperately needed.
For those who are out of a job due to the pandemic, they’re not going to be in a job any time soon – despite Labor’s record borrowings and record debt.
Victorians need opportunities now to get back on their feet, but today we learned that under Labor many Victorians currently out of work won’t make it back into the workforce for at least three years.
Instead of providing an immediate boost across our state by funding shovel-ready projects, Daniel Andrews will borrow big for massive infrastructure in Melbourne that won’t be ready for years.
Regional communities hit hardest by coronavirus shutdowns have missed out entirely.
This year’s State Budget was an ideal opportunity to restore confidence by funding priority projects communities have been calling for.
But many have again been left disappointed.
There’s no funding for health services at Maffra, Warragul, Hamilton, Swan Hill or Willaura.
There’s no funding to complete upgrades at schools in Bairnsdale, Foster, Cohuna and more.
There’s no funding to complete the $260 million Shepparton bypass, despite the Federal Coalition providing $208 million.
The Andrews Labor Government has also continued starving our fire services of much needed funds by failing to invest in upgrades to CFA stations at Myrtleford, Yarrawonga, Rochester and Leitchville.
An unprecedented move to hide its mismanagement of major projects by refusing to publish key budget documents has failed to keep secret Labor’s $660 million cost blowout on the Shepparton and Warrnambool rail lines upgrades.
Western Victoria will also miss out again with no commitment to extend passenger services to the region.
Farmers in the state’s north-west won’t see the transformational Murray Basin Rail Project completed in full under Labor and will instead be left off worse than before the project started with a cheap mess of broad and standard gauge lines.
This is a Labor Government that will stop at nothing to hide the truth of its multi-billion dollar cost overruns and missed deadlines from Victorians.
Record borrowings and record debt will only push out the pain for future generations.
Labor has starved regional Victoria of funds since it was elected to Government. This year is no different.
Daniel Andrews is a Premier with no plan and no money for regional Victoria who’s robbing country people of a genuine boost towards recovery.