OPPOSING CASE TO BUILDING A NEW SAM
It is important in any democracy to allow counter arguments to be heard. This is the foundation of our political system and an important element of intelligent debate.
However, in my opinion the opposing arguments for not building a new building for the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) are not being allowed to be heard.
The first point I would like to put forward is that in my opinion it is not a building that attracts people to an art gallery but the exhibitions on display in that building. My evidence for this statement is that the National Gallery of Victoria was built in the 60s. The success of the Bendigo Art Gallery is not founded on the building but on the networks and standing of its curator that is able to get the exhibitions that attract people.
I don’t believe the local councillors nor the state government read the SAM Business Case ‘Executive Summary’ (the summary) with a critical eye as, if they had, they would have discovered the number of flaws and errors I have uncovered. Firstly on page 24 of the summary the 5 Year Profit and Loss report has a $2.638M error. It erroneously reports the first year loss of $1.319M as a profit. The operation of the new SAM is expected to make a loss in the second year of $1.381M, in the third year a loss of $1.464M, in the fourth year a loss of $1.483M and in the fifth year a loss of $1.501M. The summary only shows the first five years and shows a total loss of $7.148M over those five years.
This is only one of the flaws in the summary.
PROVIDE A FAIR SHARE FOR REGIONAL VICTORIANS
Treasurer Tim Pallas says Victoria’s 9 percent share of Federal infrastructure funding is “a rip off” because “we represent 25 percent of the Australian population.”
So why then, in his first budget, did Tim Pallas provide just 2.9 percent of the state’s infrastructure funding to regional Victoria?
Regional Victoria is home to 25 percent of the state’s population – just as Victoria is home to 25 percent of the Australian population.
But when he’s dishing out the money, Tim Pallas is more than happy to “rip off” country Victorians.
Look no further than the Port of Melbourne sale for another example.
Tim Pallas and the city-centric Andrews Labor Government promised just $200M, around 3 percent of the sale proceeds, for regional Victoria.
It was only through strong negotiations by the Liberal-Nationals Coalition that we have secured an additional 10 percent, or around $700M, of the sale proceeds.
The Andrews Labor Government is all talk and no action when it comes to providing a fair share of funding for Victorians.
Instead of continuing this hypocrisy by attacking the Federal Government, perhaps Tim Pallas should start focusing on his own budget and provide regional Victorians with a fair share in 2016/17.
Leader of The Nationals
THANKS FOR THE COURTEOUS SERVICE
I am writing to acknowledge the excellent service provided by Mike Collins and his team of volunteer drivers from the Goulburn Valley Community Transport Program.
For many years now this service has been provided to those of us needing to access specialists, hospital services both local and metropolitan/statewide. Our very poor public V/Line services do not allow us to connect in a timely manner with many of the necessary health appointments.
Thanks for your courteous, efficient service from door-to-door.