May’s state budget will set out the government’s priorities for the coming four-year term, with Victorians being warned to brace for significant cuts in the face of state debt now rocketing to over $110 Billion – that’s a debt of about $15,000 per adult.
As interest rates increase, this impacts the state budget in the same way it impacts your household budget.
Victorians are now being slugged $10 million a day in interest to service Labor’s debt.
Daniel Andrews is pouring billions into city projects – such as the $34.5 billion Cheltenham to Box Hill rail line – while regional Victorians are left waiting for basic infrastructure and services, including driveable roads and upgraded healthcare with more health professionals.
Regional Victoria cannot continue to be neglected by Labor, which will continue funding Daniel Andrews’ pet projects.
In the face of skyrocketing energy bills and an increased cost of living, this budget must deliver financial relief for Victorians.
The Andrews Labor Government’s attempt to revive the SEC will do little to drive down energy prices, and one-off payments are only a band-aid solution.
This budget must deliver recurrent funding for community hospitals to ensure smaller health services can plan for the future and cater to growing populations.
Victoria was once home to more than 40 community hospitals and now there is only a handful left, with Strathbogie Shire the only local government area in Victoria that has no publicly funded hospital.
Despite that, Euroa Health – a community hospital which services the Strathbogie region – is not guaranteed ongoing funding.
This budget must deliver increased and ongoing funding for state-managed roads, and funding for local councils’ road maintenance budgets.
We have seen Labor leave regional councils struggling to balance their budgets after it axed the Country Roads and Bridges Program.
Most importantly, this state budget must be fairer for all Victorians.
Leader of The Nationals
Shadow Minister for Regional Development