Vital central Victorian projects overlooked in budget: MPs

BENDIGO’s members of Parliament have slammed the budget as “bitterly disappointing”, pointing to a number of projects which have gone unfunded.

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said she was frustrated an upgrade for the Ravenswood interchange had been overlooked for the third budget in a row.

“I was bitterly disappointed to see the Ravenswood interchange has been overlooked,” she said.

“It’s important because it’s a dangerous and difficult intersection and carries a lot of traffic. 

“For the third year in a row the Coalition government have ignored it.”

She said cuts to the health budget would put added stress on local services.

“With the cuts in this year’s budget, in total, the Napthine government has cut $826 million from Victoria’s hospitals, and this will put further pressure on Bendigo hospital and see more in our local community languish on the elective surgery waiting list,” she said.

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said she had hoped the government would commit funding to much-needed upgrades such as at Castlemaine Secondary College and the Kangaroo Flat and Golden Square pools. “What is also disappointing with this budget is that Denis Napthine has also chosen to not support with budget funds, much-needed new fire stations at Huntly, Kangaroo Flat and Golden Square,” she said.

Ms Edwards was also concerned about $20 million of funding taken from an apprentice “trade bonus” scheme.

“What we’ve seen is a slashing of apprenticeship funding on top of cuts to TAFE. 

“It’s an extraordinary blow to local young people.”

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