Budget brings good news for East Gippsland
Residents living in East Gippsland will benefit from the Victorian Coalition Government’s 2012-13 Budget, with a focus on health care, transport improvements and school upgrades to secure Victoria’s future and drive economic activity, productivity and create jobs, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull said today.
“Of particular delight is $10 million for the new Bairnsdale Secondary College in today’s Budget. This was a pre-election commitment for our first term and I am delighted we have been able to deliver it in our second budget.
“Along with Toorloo Arm Primary School last year, it is a terrific outcome to have funding for the two schools promised delivered in the first two years.
“The fact the existing facilities are in drastic need of an upgrade has been well documented. I am sure this announcement will provide a real boost to staff, students and families involved with the school.
“Having spoken with acting principal, Ian Hall, over recent months, it is clear the school is ready to proceed and is well prepared to cater for the students’ educational needs through the construction phase.
“At the conclusion we will have a state-of-the-art facility that will provide a terrific learning and teaching environment for the benefit of students in Bairnsdale and district.
“Bairnsdale Secondary College school council and the wider school community has advocated very strongly for this project to proceed and their efforts have been rewarded.”
“I am also pleased to see a number of the many other initiatives, including road and rail upgrades, including a significant investment in rail rolling stock for regional areas, a significant investment in the state’s manufacturing, agricultural and education sectors and $336 million to better protect Victoria’s vulnerable children.
“The Budget also includes significant investments in youth justice, disability (including 400 new individual support packages) and mental health (including funding to build or operate 95 new mental health beds).
“This Budget also contains a new threshold for electricity and gas concessions to take account of the Federal Government’s new carbon tax.
“More locally, Munro Fire Brigade has been identified by the Country Fire Authority (CFA) as a priority project as part of the Coalition Government’s $22 million 2012-13 Budget investment in upgrading or building new CFA stations across Victoria.
“This important funding will ensure local CFA volunteers have the best facilities to help them do their great work in protecting local communities.
“A further $12.3 million has been allocated to fleet infrastructure upgrades across the state to help the CFA best deliver on a range of services it provides such as road rescue, hazardous materials response and structural collapse.”
“The funding will mean the CFA will be better resourced to enable a more effective and efficient fire-fighting service, whilst providing enhanced safety for crews.”
Treasurer Kim Wells announced the Coalition Government’s 2012-13 Budget which sets out a clear plan to meet Victoria’s challenges and position the state to take full advantage of current and future economic opportunities.
“This Budget focuses on securing the future and rebuilding the state’s finances,” Mr Wells said.
“It is about investing in a record state infrastructure spend, enhancing front line services and taking new measures to protect the most vulnerable Victorians.”
Mr Wells said statewide investments included:
• $10.58 million to accelerate innovation to boost productivity and profitability in Victoria’s grains industry; • $14.3 million to boost the productivity and profitability of the Victorian dairy industry; • $8.94 million to boost productivity and profitability in Victoria’s red meat (lamb and beef) industry; • $8.11 million to secure a long-term future for Victorian horticulture; and • $19.5 million for a biosecurity program.
Mr Wells said the 2012-13 Budget is shaped by the challenges of the present and in the short-term, Victoria faces global and national economic factors which have resulted in a softer economy and significant reductions in government revenue.
“This Budget takes a responsible and necessary approach to these forces which are placing real pressure on Victorian employment, small business and industry,” Mr Wells said.
“We cannot ignore those realities, nor can we afford to simply accept them.
“As a state and as a community, we will be defined not by the challenges we face, but by the collective actions we take to address them,” Mr Wells said.