Regional communities will expect the new Commissioner to be frank and fearless with his advice to the Andrews Government.
Labor may have put him on the payroll but at the end of the day it’s taxpayers’ dollars and Mr Tuohey’s job is to stand up for our regional communities.
Labor’s arrogant neglect of regional Victoria gets worse every day.
This year alone the regional development budget has been cut by $130 million, and the Regional Growth Fund and other regional support programs have all run dry.
Regional Development Minister Jaclyn Symes has stalled reappointments for Victoria’s Regional Development Australia committees, meaning our regions are missing vital representation in key lobbying roles.
The Premier for Melbourne rarely goes beyond the tram tracks and when he does, he doesn’t listen – as shown by his repeated rejection of rates subsidies for our drought-stricken farmers.
The transformative Murray Basin Rail freight project has been botched by Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan, and meanwhile five of our regional passenger rail lines have failed their punctuality targets every single month for two years straight.
Schools at Kyabram, Warracknabeal, Korumburra, Bairnsdale, Seymour and more are in dire need of renovations or new buildings, yet have been left out of Daniel Andrews’ budgets every year since 2015.
With the Andrews Government’s arrogant neglect of regional Victoria, there’s no shortage of issues for the new Commissioner and I to discuss when we meet.