This week the Andrews Labor Government delivered their first budget.
While there wasn’t much in it for the Shepparton District it’s important to note that 96 per cent of the budget was fulfilling election promises made to marginal seats.
That said we can look forward to the Goulburn Valley Health redevelopment plan being finalised, with $1 million allocated.
I’ll be pushing for the government to invest in whatever development is decided will best meet the needs of this community now and into the future.
There was no funding for a desperately needed upgrade of Shepparton’s rail service, again not a surprise.
We need to show the Minister for Public Transport how desperately needed an upgrade of the Shepparton Passenger Rail Service is and I urge you all to join the All Aboard Shepparton campaign on May 28 to push the government to make a real investment in rail in this district.
It’s important to note there are many other buckets of funding we will benefit from in the budget including: $200 million Regional Jobs Fund, $50 million Back To Work Fund, $86.7 million to resurface deteriorating road surfaces, $300 million TAFE Rescue Fund, $18 million to expand and modernise rehabilitation services. And lots of great local services had their funding renewed including the Rural Housing Network Sustaining Tenancies at Risk (STAR) program and the Local Learning and Employment Network. This week in parliament I asked a constituency question calling for clarity surrounding roads and bridges funding. I used my adjournment debate to call attention to the dire state of our rail service, you can read my full speech via the link in yesterday’s post. And on Wednesday I used my member’s statement to draw the attention of the people of Victoria to some of the potential impacts of entering into the Transpacific Partnership Agreement. Yesterday in parliament we all donned a beanie as part of Brain Cancer Action Week. Brain cancer kills more people under 40 than any other cancer and you can support research via ‘Beanies for Brain Cancer’ at www.curebraincancer.org.au During my week in Melbourne I also met with ACSO to discuss their proposed rehabilitation facility in Shepparton. My office helped constituents with a variety of problems including housing issues specifically around domestic violence, mandatory organic green waste bins, school bus transport fees, potholes in Wunghnu, waiting times for dialysis machines at Goulburn Valley Health and compliance issues around certain certificate/training providers. And last weekend in Shepparton I attended the Rodney Neighbourhood Kindergarten garden opening and the Wesak Buddhist Festival. Next week I’m looking forward to getting out and about in the electorate, with lots of meetings and events planned.