Country Roads and Bridges Energy prices Benalla Police Station Benalla Regional Victoria COVID -19 recovery

Nationals release COVID-19 recovery plan - Benalla

15 May 2020

The Victorian Nationals are calling for a one-off increase to lift energy concessions to $1000 next year.

The proposal comes as part of a wider plan released today to help secure Victorians’ personal finances, rebuild local economies, build better communities and keep families safe in the wake of coronavirus.

“Today we have outlined a detailed 12-month plan with bold ideas to help Victoria recover from the brutal economic damage caused by coronavirus,” Ms Ryan said.

“We have flattened the curve, but we have also flattened the economy. More than 127,000 Victorians lost their jobs in the last month alone, not including those who are on JobKeeper payments.

“Lifting energy concessions to $1000 a year is a way the Victorian Government can provide immediate assistance to people who are struggling to pay their power bills.

“Tens of thousands of families have had their pay packets slashed while the cost of gas and electricity continues to rise.”

The Nationals’ COVID-19 response plan also calls on the Andrews Government to fast track spending on local infrastructure by immediately funding local projects including the construction of the Benalla police station.

“We are calling on the government to kickstart an economic recovery by prioritising the construction of local projects across regional Victoria, like the Benalla police station, which has been overlooked in favour of big Melbourne-based projects,” Ms Ryan said.

“Despite being the oldest 24-hour police station in the state and high on Victoria Police’s replacement list, the government has so far refused to fund the replacement of the Benalla police station.

“I fear that if the Andrews Government does not prioritise building the station in its response to COVID-19 when it has just borrowed an eyewatering $24.5 billion, it will never be on the table for Labor.”

The Nationals’ 12-month recovery plan also calls on the government to immediately reinstate the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program, which helped upgrade council-owned roads.

“These are sensible and constructive ideas that we are putting forward,” Ms Ryan said.

“I want to make sure our region gets a fair share of the huge amount of money the Andrews Government has borrowed. It is going to take generations to repay this debt and we need to make sure that it is invested wisely in projects that help people in our region to get back to work and back in business.” 

Photo caption: Deputy Nationals Leader Steph Ryan discusses The Nationals’ proposal for an increase in energy concessions with Benalla resident Ian Roscoe.

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