Life is getting harder for regional Victorians under Labor with the State Budget slashing funding in key areas including regional roads, health and agriculture.
Victoria’s crumbling regional roads will only decay further with maintenance funding slashed by 45 per cent since 2020, and from $702.2 million to just $441.6 million in the last year alone.
This comes despite 124 deaths on Victorian roads in 2023 so far, up a shocking 30 per cent on this time last year.
The regional development budget has again been cut, halved from $211.5 million to $106.6 million in this year’s budget. Since 2020, it has been slashed by 80 per cent.
Agriculture funding hasn’t escaped the axe either, down 34 per cent on last year from $687.3 million to $454.8 million.
This is addition to the closure of the sustainable native timber industry being brought forward from 2030 to 2024, a death warrant for communities in the state’s east.
Trade and global development has now been cut by $60.3 million, or almost 60 per cent, since 2020, despite Victorian farmers and farm businesses continue to weather uncertain international markets.
On health, there is no plan in this budget to solve regional Victoria’s workforce issues. This will only leave more Victorians on waiting lists, struggling to receive the urgent care and treatment many desperately need.
Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh, said under Labor, Victoria is broke, life is getting harder and regional Victorians are being punished for the Government’s incompetence.
“Victoria’s regions are being left behind by Labor at a time when they can least afford it and this is no more evident than in the cuts to funding in vital areas such as roads, health and agriculture.”