Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has secured almost half a billion dollars investment across a range of budget lines including mental health, maternal health, education, and trains for the electorate in today’s Victorian Budget.
The government committed $196 million to establish a mental health facility to replace and expand Goulburn Valley Health’s outdated facility and also to purchase land and undertake planning to deliver mental health beds in Ballarat and Wangaratta.
“I have fought hard to get this funding by raising Shepparton’s mental health crisis in parliament and with ministers, but I have to commend the bravery of our residents who spoke at the Royal Commission into Mental Health, which definitely helped secure this enormous funding,” Ms Sheed said.
“When the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System was handed down at the Exhibition Building, we heard from two people about their experiences with mental health services in regional Victoria.”
“They spoke about being turned away from a regional health service when they needed help, and this is not the way we should be treating our most vulnerable residents.
“The Victorian Government has listened to us and is providing us with a brand new – and much needed – mental health facility to support our community to recover from mental health issues, with 15 additional beds.”
“In addition to this new facility, Shepparton will share a $3.5 million investment with two other regional centres that will go towards planning for Shepparton’s mental health, alcohol, and drugs crisis hub.
“I am delighted that we received $25 million to build a 10-bed early parenting centre, which was something our community has been campaigning for since 2014.
“The centre will offer support to families with children up to four years old to enhance the family bond and give parents strategies they need to thrive in their roles.
“Without this facility, new parents had to make their way to Melbourne for help with parenting at a time in their lives when it is most inconvenient, so this new facility right on our doorstep will be welcomed by new parents.
“This was the brainchild of the leadership team of the children’s ward which included my husband Dr Peter Eastaugh, Wendy Lewis, and Diane Halloran, who back in 1997 wrote the proposal for a much-needed mother baby unit.
“The GV Health Foundation has stood by this proposal in the intervening years and strong advocacy has come from those parents in our community who understand the importance of investing in early childhood.
“I am happy the government saw the importance of the Verney Road School by investing $24 million on its upgrade.
“The school was built for 70 students and has accommodated many more over the years.
“It will be great to see those students provided with a fit-for-purpose facility.
“We have also been given an investment of $250 million for 12 VLocity trains servicing both the Shepparton and Warrnambool lines.
“This was always the plan with the Shepparton line upgrade, so I am not surprised to learn that that the government followed through with its promise to deliver these trains to our line.
“The Goulburn Valley Highway and Graham Street intersection will receive an upgrade as part of a $3.5 million regional road investment, with support from the Federal Government.
“I am delighted with the outcome of today’s budget.”
Elaine Cooney 0447 820 466│firstname.lastname@example.org