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Labor’s budget betrays Benalla

27 May 2019

Member for Euroa Steph Ryan has vowed to keep fighting for funding for important local projects after the Andrews Labor Government inflicted devastating cuts on country Victoria in today’s horror state budget.

Labor’s city-centric budget has axed the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund which was set up by The Nationals in 2011, provided no funding for new trains on the north-east line and failed to fund the local projects for which the community has fought.

Today’s State Budget confirms the Andrews Government has no plan and no money for Regional Victoria.

Ms Ryan said that Labor had put off its election promise of funding for Benalla P-12 College, with the school to receive just $844,000 of the promised $12.1 million next year.

“The community has been fighting for more than a decade now to get the funding to rebuild Benalla College. Labor promised it 12 years ago when the community agreed to bring the school together and yet, despite holding government for eight of those years, it has again failed to deliver the funding the school needs,” Ms Ryan said.

The Andrews Government has also ignored community calls to build a new police station in Benalla, despite serious occupational health and safety issues.

“Last year Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt told me that Benalla was the worst police station in the state. The Andrews Government is forcing the hardworking men and women in our local police force to work out of appalling facilities.”

Funding for rural health outreach worker Ivan Lister, extra drought support and additional mental health services were also absent from today’s budget.

Ms Ryan said there was no excuse for Labor to overlook these vital issues.

“Daniel Andrews has enjoyed record revenue in recent years but he has repeatedly failed to make a plan for investing in country Victoria,” Ms Ryan said.

The key priorities of the Euroa electorate were presented to the government ahead of the budget in a submission called Euroa Matters. The document was developed after extensive community consultation.

“Labor’s decision to axe $1 billion in funding from rural and regional communities in particular is a huge blow.

“The Regional Growth Fund provided money for Benalla’s Lakeside Centre, the new Benalla Library and the development of the Benalla airport. It also assisted local businesses to expand and employ more people,” Ms Ryan said.

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