Opposition rips into state budget's small offerings for West Gippsland
 Baw Baw News   By // 15:11, Thursday 9 May 2013

budget papers 2 warragul citizen william kulich

LABOR member for Eastern Victoria Matt Viney has accused Liberal member for Narracan Gary Blackwood of turning his back on West Gippsland in the new state budget.

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In a media release Mr Viney said there was little in the 2013/14 budget for the region.

“The only new projects for Warragul, Drouin and surrounding towns are a couple of sewerage upgrades. That’s it,” Mr Viney said.

“Improvements to the Warragul hospital emergency department, initially earmarked by Labor in 2010, have been all but completed.”


Mr Viney said the budget showed a car park Mr Blackwood had said was “shovel-ready” at the last election was not going to be finished until 2015.

“The majority of the funding for the car park project will not be spent until the 2014-15 financial year,” Mr Viney said.

“It seems that after seven years in parliament and three years in government, the only progress Mr Blackwood can claim to have achieved on this non-existent car park is redoing the artist’s impressions.

“With the $160,000 income Mr Blackwood earns a year, an engineer would have been cheaper to hire and the car park at Warragul Station would be in use by now,” Mr Viney said.

Mr Viney said Mr Blackwood had “turned his back on the region.”

“Unfortunately, we are seeing once again a Liberal-Nationals Government taking Gippsland for granted.”

Mr Viney’s media release did not mention a small amount of funding for the roll-out of “Technology Enabled Learning Centres” across Gippsland TAFEs, including GippsTAFE.

In a media release earlier this week Mr Blackwood said this budget was about responsible economic management.


“This budget is a demonstration of responsible, sound financial management in difficult economic circumstances for Victoria,” Mr Blackwood said.

“The Victorian Coalition Government has taken a number of steps within the budget to ensure we are able to deliver on the future needs of Narracan and Victoria.”

Mr Blackwood’s office has been contacted for a response.

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One response to “Opposition rips into state budget's small offerings for West Gippsland”

  1. Comments as supplied 9/5/2013

    Comments to be attributed to Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood

    The Victorian State Budget delivers strongly for both Narracan and the wider Victoria.

    There are a number of announcements that Narracan residents will share in or have direct access to such as;

    · $170million over three years for road maintenance program designed to renew deteriorated roads with a further $90 million for resurfacing works to make roads more resilient to wet weather

    · a complete overhaul of the Victorian Fire Services Levy, which will on save the average Narracan residence $103 per year

    · a record $14.34 billion in health funding state-wide to treat more patients and manage the increasing pressure on the system, including $81.5 million for regional hospitals and health services

    · $11.6 billion in education funding statewide to improve student outcomes and ensure Victorians have the skills needed for the future

    · $33.7 million over the next two years to expand the Coalition Government’s planned burning program, as recommended by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission

    – $8 million tourism campaign to drive regional tourism, while raising awareness interstate and internationally, of Victoria’s regional destinations and experience

    · $4.7 million over two years to help better protect the livestock industry from serious disease, with a particular focus on preparing for an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease

    · $16 million for grants to landholders and regional organisations to support native vegetation and threatened species

    · supporting first home buyers and job creation in the housing construction industry by boosting the First Home Owner Grant to $10,000 for newly constructed properties and reducing stamp duty from 1 July 2013

    · $46.2 million extra to support Victorian children across the State in the vital years before school, including $7 million to build and upgrade children’s centres and kindergartens across Victoria, growth corridors and regional areas

    These are all announcements that will have a direct impact on Narracan and its residents.

    Further to these announcements the Budget continues to fund previous announcements that are either underway or ready to commence including;

    · Warragul Railway Station precinct upgrade including a third rail crossing;

    · Extension and redevelopment of the Emergency Department at the West Gippsland Hospital

    In the last 12 months I have also made a number of additional announcements for funding outside the regular Budget process. These announcements strongly demonstrate our Governments commitment to the region and ensuring we have active investment at all points of the year and not just come the State Budget. Some examples of these announcements include;

    · $1.2million to assist with the redevelopment of the Moe Racing Club

    · $733,000 to for an expansion at the Noojee Trout Farm

    · $221,000 for Stage 1 of the Noojee Heritage Centre

    · $239,000 towards the redevelopment of the Mason St business precinct

    · $3.383million additional road funding in 2012-13 beyond regular road funding for special works and road maintenance