Regional Victoria paying more, but getting less

Regional Victorians have been robbed in the Labor State Budget 2021-22.


Labor’s latest State Budget sends a clear message that this is a government that’s out of money and raiding the pockets of country families, farmers and small business owners.


Nearly $285 million slashed from regional development and $61.3 million butchered from the agriculture budget.


Cuts to biosecurity, no new money to fix crumbling regional roads, and millions of dollars plundered from regional public transport to pay for trains in Melbourne.


In a blow to our farmers and farm businesses that are crying out for new export opportunities to fill the void left by trade tensions with China, the Labor Government has shaved 63 per cent from Victoria’s trade programs.


Despite the Federal Government increasing its payments to Victoria in its budget by more than $6 billion, the Andrews Labor Government will instead hit Victorians with $5.8 billion in new and increased taxes.


In the 2021-22 State Budget, Labor has also:


· Cut $66.7 million from trade and global engagement,

· More than halved efforts to develop new strategies to maintain and/or grow export opportunities,

· Failed to invest in new residential rehabilitation beds in rural and regional communities,

· Cut $2.54 million from community grants that support the fight against Queensland fruit fly,

· Overlooked priority upgrades to country schools and hospitals,

· Halted the rollout of Orange Door services which provide crucial support against domestic violence for families in crisis


These cuts come as Labor’s cost blowouts on major projects swells to $22.3 billion, including $10.79 billion on Melbourne’s North East Link and $3.43 billion on the Metro Tunnel.


Comment attributable to State Member for Eildon, Cindy McLeish:

The city centric State Labor Government is taxing regional Victorians more, but giving less.


Regional Victorians are being slugged the highest taxes in the country, while people in our community are waiting longer for ambulance services, regional schools are left outdated and urgent road repairs are ignored.


Record numbers of people are moving out of our capital cities and into the regions, but Labor’s lack of vision for regional Victoria risks us missing out on reaching full potential.

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