No fair share for regional Victoria in state budget

Regional Victorians have copped further cuts to essential services in the Labor Government’s State Budget.


State Liberal Member for Eildon Cindy McLeish said the budget has confirmed record debt, higher taxes and more cost blowouts on Labor’s mismanaged major projects in Melbourne, while providing little to regional Victoria.


“Regional development and industries including agriculture have been hit hard. This is the time regional Victorian’s needed investment most, not budget cuts.”


The State Budget cut a staggering $87.1 million from regional development and $47.8 million is to be cut from agriculture. The Labor Government will cut $46.3 million from trade and global engagement efforts at a time when Victorian farmers and farm businesses are weathering growing uncertainty in international markets.


Ms McLeish said, “The city-centric Labor Government are so out of touch with regional Victorians, our farmers and key industries that are a crucial contributor to Victoria’s recovery. Labor are decimating livelihoods with their carelessness and lack of investment which will impact all of Victoria.”


Labor will rip up to 40 per cent more revenue from the hip pockets of already struggling Victorian homebuyers through their new housing tax.


A further $24 million has been cut from the road asset management program, after $191 million, 23 per cent, was slashed in last year’s State Budget. This will expose Victorian drivers to 12 more months of dangerously crumbling, unsafe roads.


A $100 million cut to Health Protection leaves breast cancer patients in regional Victoria facing the frightening prospect of losing vital support from specialised McGrath Foundation nurses.


Just $11.1 million has been delegated for new asset initiatives for the Country Fire Authority, despite tax revenue from the Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL) expected to rise to $800 million.


Hospitals, schools and services in regional Victoria will suffer with the spiralling debt and cost blowouts under the Labor Government.


“Regional Victorian’s continue to get less while being taxed more. Victorians deserve a government that focuses on all of Victoria, not just Melbourne,” Ms McLeish concludes.

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