MEMBER for Northern Victoria, Wendy Lovell says the budget demonstrates the State Government’s history of blowout timelines and the ineffectiveness of independents to secure critical funding.
“Major infrastructure and service delivery projects that have been prioritised by Greater Shepparton City Council in its budget submission have been ignored by Daniel Andrews, providing further proof of both the ineffectiveness of independent members to secure funding for vital projects and the low priority Labor place on our region,” she said.
“The Andrews Government has further delayed construction of the bypass by extending the timeline for planning to June 2023 from the original date of March 2020. A blowout of over three years just for planning.”
While Ms Lovell’s call for additional mental health services has been realised, she says new acute mental health beds planned at GV Health are less than half of the 33 new beds planned for Ballarat’s Grampians Health. There is also no new funding for child and adolescent mental health services at GV Health, meaning young people who require inpatient care must still travel to Box Hill Hospital’s 12-bed facility.
“Daniel Andrews and Martin Foley have again failed to commit funding to complete in full the redevelopment of Goulburn Valley Health, with the State Government not planning on completing Stage 1 of the redevelopment until June next year – two years after the original estimated completion date.”
She said the budget fails to deliver on several projects including Shepparton Foodshare’s new premises, establishing a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, and Stage 1 of the Shepparton Sports & Events Centre redevelopment.
“Just this week the Liberal candidate for Nicholls, Steve Brooks, announced that a re-elected Federal Liberal Government will commit $25 million to the project, leaving just the State Government’s contribution of $20 million needed to make the project a reality.”
“Even the funding for new V/Locity trains for the Shepparton line comes with a catch, the budget fine print confirming the carriages will not be delivered until June 2027.”