Labor axe a blow to Korumburra project
The Andrews Labor Government has again axed a program designed to support country communities – this time to the detriment of Korumburra.
The Korumburra community has been fighting for funding to upgrade the historic Korumburra Railway Station for use as a community facility but has been unable to confirm funding.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, said it’s now clear The Community Use of Vacant Rail Buildings program (CUVRB) has been axed, meaning there is no funding for the Korumburra project.
“The Station@Korumburra Working Group and the South Gippsland Shire have been working on a community use program for the Korumburra station and were delighted to be advised they’d been accepted into the program in February last year.
“They’ve since been told on at least two occasions that there was no funding available for Korumburra and now I have been able to confirm why.
“I raised this matter in State Parliament for the Minister for Public Transport last month and have now received a response that indicates the program has been terminated.
“This was a program introduced by The Nationals in government in 2011 to ensure beneficial community use of old railway buildings.
“Clearly, despite stringing the Korumburra community on for over a year, the government has now axed the program and the station won’t be upgraded anytime soon.”
Mr O’Brien said it was further evidence of the Andrews Labor Governments’ focus on spending billions on public transport in the city but leaving country communities on their own.
“The Station@Korumburra Working Group has been working for a long time on this project which would have opened the beautiful Korumburra station building to community use including for the arts, adult education and other community activities.
“It’s very disappointing that the program that might have funded the restoration of the station has now been axed but the work remains to be done.
“The fact is the facility is owned by VicTrack and the State Government and it needs to be maintained one way or the other.
“I call on the Andrews Labor Government to now find a new source of funds to ensure this important project can proceed and the beautiful station restored to its former glory.”