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Budget 2016 – the good, the bad, and the ugly

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said reading the State Budget was like watching your football team play a draw – some parts were good, but generally disappointing.

Mr O’Brien said the Melbourne Labor Government was swimming in cash but still adding new taxes which hurt all Victorians and threatened jobs in Gippsland. Local projects were scraps off the table when compared to what is being spent in Melbourne.

“With this Labor Government it seems the further you live from Melbourne the less you get,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Labor has had windfall gains in stamp duty, payroll tax, land tax and the share of GST revenue, but still felt the need to add a new tax on Latrobe Valley power generators, which is an attack on Gippsland jobs and will add pressure to electricity bills. Victorians will pay $1.4 billion in extra tax next year but are getting less back from their government,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien said he had worked hard to deliver some important outcomes for Gippsland South:

  • $4 million to rebuild Yarram Primary School
  • $30 million to secure water supplies for Korumburra, Loch, Nyora and Poowong
  • $20 million to upgrade the Macalister Irrigation District

“Each of these projects I have been fighting for since I was elected last year and I am proud to have been part of the community and industry campaigns that have delivered them.

“But despite having a $2.9 billion budget surplus, Labor has neglected key initiatives in the Gippsland South electorate.” These include:

  • No funding for stage 2 of Korumburra Secondary College
  • No funding to complete the rebuild of Leongatha Secondary College
  • No funding for new fire stations at Mirboo North, Foster and Yarram
  • No funding for the Black Spur realignment of the South Gippsland highway
  • Planning money only for completion of the Princes Highway duplication between Traralgon and Sale
  • No new services or rolling stock for the Gippsland train line beyond Traralgon
  • No more residential beds for drug, including ice, rehabilitation in Gippsland
  • A cut in road maintenance funding compared to the last Coalition Budget

“Labor had a big opportunity to show it cared for Gippsland today and not only did they let it slip, they actually went the reverse. The $252 million tax on Gippsland power stations hurts not only the Latrobe Valley, but surrounding areas of Gippsland as well.”

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