Regional Victorians have been denied our fair share of state government funding for too long.
Our regional hospitals, schools, sports grounds, roads and rail infrastructure have been short-changed with decades of careless neglect by successive, city-centric Labor governments.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh have announced today that a Liberals and Nationals government elected in November will implement the nation’s first Regional Infrastructure Guarantee.
Mr Guy said it will see a massive 25 per cent of all new government capital investment guaranteed for infrastructure projects in regional Victoria, in our first term of government.
“Regional Victorians have missed out for too long under city-centric Labor governments,” Mr Guy said.
“Only a Liberals and Nationals government elected in November will treat our regional communities with respect by guaranteeing a fair share of 25 per cent of new infrastructure investment.
“New projects like the $750 million Mildura Base Public Hospital or a restored Country Roads and Bridges Program are exactly the transformational infrastructure our regional communities need.”
Mr Walsh said the Guarantee was in stark contrast to the Andrews Labor Government, which had allocated a paltry 13 per cent of capital spending to regional Victoria in this year’s budget.
“It’s time for our fair share in regional Victoria,” Mr Walsh said.
“Our guarantee to direct 25 per cent of the government’s new infrastructure spend into regional Victoria will deliver new and upgraded hospitals, schools and sports grounds, and the modern road and rail that we deserve.”
Analysis of the 2021-22 State Budget papers shows just 11.4 per cent of Labor’s asset investment was directly allocated to projects in regional Victoria, this amounted to a paltry 13 per cent in 2022-23.
While cost blow outs on Labor’s mismanaged major projects reaches $28.1 billion, the Government has cut the regional development budget by 68 per cent – a total of $370.3 million – in the past two years alone.
Mr Walsh said Labor’s cuts also extended to road maintenance, which is down 28 per cent (a total of $240 million) in the same period.
“Regional Victorians have had enough. Only a change in government in November will deliver regional Victorians our fair share,” Mr Walsh said.