Premier Daniel Andrews has been asked to provide a dedicated $30 million East Gippsland infrastructure recovery fund.
Speaking in Parliament, Nationals Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, said the fund was required to assist his region that had been hardest hit of any region of Victoria due to the triple whammy of drought, bushfires and COVID.
Addressing the Premier he said: “With cost over runs on Melbourne projects running into billions, surely $30million is not too much to ask given you promised to stand with us in recovery”.
“While we have had a few dribs and drabs of funding for public infrastructure amounting to around $3million, an investment of around $30m would make a significant difference.
“A $30 million fund would allow the allocation of the $5m in State funds sought for the Metung Hot Springs, see Bullock Island (Lakes Entrance) and Squatters Row (Paynesville) redevelopments completed and a range of other initiatives right across the region from Mallacoota to Omeo to Heyfield and everywhere in between could get a drink for community projects.
“The fund would be used for public tourism infrastructure or to partner with private enterprise to create tourism attractions and provide for job creation – help us get back up and on our feet again.
Mr Bull said he would hope Labor Upper House members, Jane Garrett and Harriet Shing, whose seats covered East Gippsland, would also advocate to the Premier’s office for funds to benefit the region they represent.
“The fact is we are not asking for a billion, but $30 million would make a real difference to our region. It’s a drop in the ocean compared to the cost blow out of $3 billion on the $11 billion Melbourne metro tunnel project alone,” he said.
Caption: pictured from L to R - Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath, Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh and Local Nationals MP Tim Bull at Bullock Island inspecting plans for further improvements to visitor facilities that could go ahead under the proposed $30 million tourism infrastructure recovery fund.