The Latrobe Valley is being taxed more and getting less in an underwhelming Budget from Daniel Andrews’ Labor Government.
The Nationals Member for Morwell Russell Northe said the Latrobe Valley has yet again been dudded by Daniel Andrews in the 2017/18 State Budget.
“With Latrobe City’s unemployment rate now 11.2%, our area needs jobs creating initiatives and investment right now but Labor’s Budget has nothing but virtually rehashed reannouncements.
“The Budget has confirmed that Daniel Andrews tried to hoax us with his so-called Regional Rail revival announcement, which are listed to be entirely funded by the Federal Government.
“Gippsland commuters deserve better than the political games Daniel Andrews is dishing out.
“Labor is bragging about a surplus and spending billions into Melbourne but there is very little in the way of new capital investments or new job-creating initiatives for the Latrobe Valley in any area – rail, roads, schools or hospitals.
“The devil is always in the detail with Daniel Andrews. For example, it is very disturbing to see the Labor has cut spending on rural and regional schools by $87 million this year despite claiming Victoria is going to be the Education State.
“In our region schools including Yallourn North Primary School and Latrobe Special Development School have missed out which will be a great disappointment to those school communities.
“Both Yallourn North Primary School and Latrobe Special Development School are in desperate need of redevelopment due to enrolment pressures and dilapidated buildings that are unfit for students and teachers alike.
“In another blow, the food and fibre industries are major contributors to our region but the Andrews Labor Government has slashed the Agriculture Department’s budget by $32 million this year.
“And for the third year running, Labor has again ignored called from local government and road users to bring back the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges program.
“Labor has also failed to give a funding commitment for the Newborough CFA station – an initiative The Nationals and Liberals have supported since 2014.
“The volunteers at Newborough have outgrown the current site and are in desperate need of a new station to ensure they can continue to protect the safety of our local community.
“Funding previously provided by the Coalition but then cut by Daniel Andrews for key carer and mental health advocacy groups including the Gippsland Carers Association and Barrier Breakers has also once again been ignored.”
Mr Northe said the Budget had no relief from rising cost of living pressures for Victorian families and businesses.
“Daniel Andrews has driven up power, gas and electricity bills and broken his election eve promise not to introduce new taxes.
“In fact Labor has introduced ten new taxes in the last three Budgets, including the job-destroying coal tax on Latrobe Valley’s power stations and in this latest Budget Labor are slugging motorists and home owners in addition to the rising utility bills.”
In 2014 the Liberal-National Coalition committed funding right across the Morwell electorate including the towns of Churchill, Boolarra, Yinnar, Traralgon South, Yallourn North, Newborough, Flynn, Glengarry, Tyers, Toongabbie and Cowwarr yet the Andrews Labor Government has committed nothing in the budget for key projects in these local towns.
Media contact: 5133 9088