Federal Liberal Nationals delivering for Regional Victoria
Wednesday 3 April 2019
The Federal Budget has delivered critical investments for safer country roads, reliable regional rail and better rural health that will benefit all Regional Victorians, Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said today.
People living in Victoria’s west and north-east will have safer roads to drive with funds allocated for upgrades to the Goulburn Valley Highway and the Western Highway, while drought-stricken farmers will get more support through an expansion of the Farm Household Allowance scheme.
“The Federal Coalition is delivering for Regional Victoria where the Andrews Labor Government has failed,” Mr Walsh said.
“Daniel Andrews likes to claim he governs for all Victorians but he has ignored regional communities’ pleas for safer roads, more reliable rail services and better rural health and education.”
Key investments that will benefit Regional Victoria include $500 million for Roads to Recovery, $2 billion for fast rail to Geelong and an additional $200 million for the Black Spot Program.
Mr Walsh also welcomed the Federal Coalition’s $360 million investment to duplicate the Western Highway between Stawell and Ararat, with a further $60 million for works between Stawell and the SA border.
“The Western Highway is part of the major freight route between Adelaide and Melbourne, so these upgrades will better link grain, timber, horticulture and livestock producers with domestic and international export markets,” Mr Walsh said.
“It's also exciting to see a massive investment in the $260 million Shepparton bypass. The $208 million Federal Coalition commitment means we just need the Andrews Government to come to the party to make sure this project goes ahead.
“On top of this, Regional Victoria will share in a boost to Roads to Recovery – a critical funding stream in Victoria after Daniel Andrews axed the state’s $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program.
“Additional funding for the Black Spot Program will help make our crumbling country roads safer, repairing dangerous sections of road that have been neglected because Daniel Andrews won’t invest a cent past Melbourne’s tram tracks.”
Other key investments that will benefit Regional Victoria include:
- $160 million for Rounds 5 and 6 of the Mobile Black Spot Program
- $60 million for a new Regional Connectivity Program to improve mobile and broadband services across regional and remote Australia
- More than $62 million for the National Rural Generalist Pathway to deliver more rural generalists
- $15.3 million for a nationally coordinated approach to combat fruit fly
- Immediate tax relief for low and middle-income earners of up to $1,080 for singles and $2,160 for dual income families
- Increasing the instant asset write-off threshold to $30,000 for small and medium sized businesses
- $453.1 million to extend access to 15 hours of quality preschool a week in the year before school, benefiting over 100,000 children who live in regional Australia
- $60 million for a new Swan Hill Bridge