Transparency and accountability in government are key to ensuring that every community has equitable access to services, no matter their postcode.
Our crumbling roads need ongoing investment rather than reduced speed limits and our regional health services need adequate funding to ensure regional Victorians can have better care closer to home – in a nutshell, regional Victoria deserves its fair share.
And yet, we’ve seen the Andrews Labor Government move the goal posts on its commitments right across the state.
Last week, the Health Minister visited Shepparton to celebrate the “final stage” of Goulburn Valley Health’s redevelopment – despite it only being the end of Stage 1 and further funding being needed from the State Government for Stage 2.
This second phase includes vital upgrades to the hospital’s Oncology Ward, yet Labor’s celebrating when the job’s half done and hasn’t committed to funding Stage 2.
Similarly, down south of the state, Labor has delivered a $300 million glossy brochure through the Latrobe Valley Authority’s draft Gippsland Transition 2035 plan.
It’s a document that should be a blueprint to investing in the Latrobe Valley and provide certainty amid job losses, instead it’s a lifeless document that fails to commit to one tangible outcome that benefits the community.
It provides no detail about steps that will be taken to shore-up the local economy, and no detail around establishing new industries or creating sustainable long-term replacement jobs for workers after Labor’s closure of the Valley’s largest employers.
In the north of the state, we’ve seen Labor back out of its original commitment to the Murray Basin Rail Project after it ran over budget.
Producers moving goods to port are now forced to use road freight, placing further pressure on our decaying road network and forcing farmers to pay more to get fresh produce on supermarket shelves.
Add to this the state’s skyrocketing debt and Labor’s 44 new or increased taxes introduced since 2014 – placing more pressure on your household bills – and it’s any wonder regional Victorians have trust issues with Daniel Andrews and his Labor Government.
Leader of The Nationals
Member for Murray Plains