“Under Labor, Victoria is broke and we’re all paying the consequences of their financial mismanagement.”
That is the assessment of The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, after the release of the State Budget today.
Victorians will soon be paying $22 million per day in interest on a $171 billion debt racked up by Andrews Labor, with new taxes introduced today that will add to pressure on housing affordability and hurt Gippsland families.
“The deplorable state of our roads would have to be the issue raised with me most often by people in Gippsland, yet the Government has bizarrely cut another 25 per cent from the roads maintenance budget. It’s now been reduced by $365 million since 2020 at a time we need to be doing more to fix our roads, not less.
“There is no money to begin construction of a new Sale College which is disappointing given master plans have been developed and land in Cobains Road is ready to go.
“Labor’s election commitment to an $11.7 million upgrade at Leongatha Secondary College is in the budget, but significantly underfunded – it’s lumped in with 53 other school projects that only have $20 million allocated in total. Clearly it won’t be happening any time soon.
“In more positive news there’ll be a new ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing Local’ established in Leongatha, while finally there is confirmed funding for a new Yarram fire station.
“Unfortunately the fight will continue for new stations at Foster and Mirboo North.”
Mr O’Brien said the decision to end the native timber industry in January next year, six years ahead of the previously announced timeline, was a blow for the region.
“The timber workers union says the decision shows Labor governs only for Melbourne, Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong and I couldn’t agree more.
“This is a political decision that hurts our region, is bad for the environment and will worsen our already appalling trade deficit in timber products.”