State budget must heed local priorities
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State budget must heed local priorities

Next week’s state budget is an opportunity for the Andrews Labor government to make good on its promise to govern for all Victorians, by supporting projects that are priorities for the residents of East Gippsland.
According to Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull the projects that he advocated in favour of at the last state election remain urgent priorities.
“Whilst I am fully appreciative of the fact that not everything being asked for will be delivered, it would be pleasing to have some of our priority projects funded,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Bull has championed the $15 million stage two redevelopment of the Bairnsdale Secondary College, tabling a petition in the parliament in its support last year and making numerous representations.
Other projects or funding requirements of importance include:
• A rate subsidy for drought affected farmers
• $633 million state-wide to replace all V/Line long haul carriages, including on the Bairnsdale line;
• Funding for a new respite centre in Bairnsdale 
• $2.2 million to build a new Bairnsdale Fire Station; 
• $200,000 for the Paynesville Foreshore Development Plan; 
• $35 million boost to the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme; 
• An additional $10,000 per year for two years for each of our six Bush Nursing Centres, while a review into long-term funding is undertaken.
Mr Bull said he would also like to see the review of council rates to be progressed with a focus on the unfairness of farm rates.
“These projects are very important to the people of East Gippsland, they fit in with local needs and aspirations and our plan to grow our regional areas.
“The Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has obtained $31 million for Phase 2 of the Macalister Irrigation District modernisation project and $2 million for the Bonang Road from the Commonwealth, so it’s now up to the Andrews government to commit to its share of these projects too,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, is calling on the Andrews Government to match the Liberal Nationals’ funding promises.