Raw deal, no Hope in latest Labor Budget
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Raw deal, no Hope in latest Labor Budget

Despite significant funding to metro areas in today’s State Budget, Bairnsdale Secondary College students and staff must continue to work in unsatisfactory conditions, Orbost police are being forced to serve their community from an outdated facility and Bairnsdale Fire Station will not be relocated any time soon.
“Unfortunately from a first glance there is no further detail on the Hope Restart Centre. It also seems the Omeo and Tambo Valley communities’ calls for the development of a mountain bike park have been ignored and Lakes Entrance, our second biggest town, received nothing, while Maffra and Heyfield also missed out,” said Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull.
“We never even got a matching commitment to replace our long-haul carriages, so under Labor you will have the same old train sets for the next four years.
“Daniel Andrews’ Labor government is happy to pour $25 million into metro project blowouts, but he can’t seem to get his cheque book past Melbourne’s tram tracks for these vital projects and investments in Gippsland East.”
Mr Bull said perhaps the most disappointing aspect was no news on the Hope Restart Centre, the drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation facility, but he will continue fighting for this investment.
“I really feel this is a ‘no brainer’ for the Government and after many meetings and discussions with the Minister over past months I am very surprised to see only references to a facility that will be established in Gippsland. This is no progress on what we have known for months.
“Given my colleague Darren Chester secured $3 million in Federal funding for the project and there has been a very significant matching philanthropic commitment for the facility in East Gippsland plus further fundraising by the local committee, I don’t see why the Andrews Government is refusing to say where it will be built.
“With Labor beating its chest about infrastructure spending, I was anticipating at least one or two projects for our communities.
“Another disappointment is the lack of funding for Bairnsdale Secondary College. The old buildings at the secondary college leak every time it rains yet this Labor Government don’t think we are a priority. Instead some other school communities who had not even lobbied for upgrades, have received funding they didn’t ask for!
“It was the same last year after a new police station was announced at Mallacoota when Orbost was clearly the force’s top local priority. Labor are so city-centric and out of touch with our communities they don’t even know what our priority projects are.
“This government has had budgets totalling over $250 billion over the past four years, so it’s truly astounding Daniel Andrews has not been able to spare the funds we need for priority projects like Bairnsdale Secondary College.
“The Minister said in February 2015 he would come to the school when his diary permitted but more than three years later we are still waiting, which just proves again how little regard Daniel Andrews and his Labor Government has for our community,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, runs an eye over today’s State Budget papers, which reveal little joy for people in rural and regional areas.
Tuesday, May 1, 2018