In the upcoming State Budget, the Andrews Labor Government must reverse a decade of neglect and invest in regional communities.
We only received 13 percent of new infrastructure in last year’s state budget, despite accounting for 25 percent of Victoria’s population.
Since then, the Albanese Labor Government has cut billions of dollars out of regional programs like the successful Building Better Regions Fund, the National Water Grid, and the Regional Accelerator Program, and will introduce new taxes on food producers and the logistics sector.
Labor has no respect for regional Victoria and this is beyond the pale.
In addition to the urgent funding needed for our hospitals, roads, schools, flood recovery and more, our community groups are crying out for long-awaited support.
From Red Cliffs and Donald in the North West, to Violet Town and Seymour in the North East, and Korumburra-Bena in the East – Football and Netball Clubs need new and upgraded changerooms, clubrooms, courts and fields.
Other community sports facilities need investment, too, whether that’s the Timmis Speedway in Mildura, the Shepparton Sports Stadium, Echuca’s Victoria Park, or the Rushworth Bowls Club, or the seemingly countless others.
Then there’s foreshore erosion, with communities like Loch Sport and Inverloch in need of urgent works to prevent further erosion and restore their coastlines.
And the list goes on.
There’s the Myrtleford Swimming Pool, the Heathcote RSL, the Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-operative, the Agnes Falls Viewing Platform, and CFA and ambulance stations right across the state.
Our communities are tired of getting scraps from this Labor government.
We don’t ask for much, and we shouldn’t have to beg for our fair share.
This year’s State Budget must deliver for regional Victoria.