Member slams service cuts

MEMBER for Bendigo Lisa Chesters says central Victorians will take a hit from the federal government's cuts to services such as childcare, education and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

A rapidly deteriorating budget has forced the Abbott government to order massive spending cuts, with the National Disability Insurance Scheme now in the crosshairs.

A range of programs in welfare, health, education and Aboriginal services face immediate cuts and billions more dollars are expected to be ripped out of Commonwealth expenditure in what Treasurer Joe Hockey is signalling will be a horror budget in May.

Ms Chesters said yesterday the two issues she was most alarmed about were the impact on the NDIS and education funding cuts.

“The biggest disappointment for me is the backing away from the rollout of the NDIS,” Ms Chesters aid.

“In this region people were ready for that ... Bendigo was going to be the next in line for the NDIS rollout, and everyone with a disability was going to be picked up and supported.

“The Liberals are saying that’s not the right plan and it will cost too much money.”

Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann yesterday insisted the federal government had  not withdrawn its support for the NDIS.
"The Coalition is committed to deliver the NDIS ... in the most efficient and cost-effective way," Mr Cormann said.

The cuts include the abolition of the trades training centre program which has been implemented in Bendigo and Maryborough.

Ms Chesters said  it would be a "devastating blow" to the Maryborough community and smaller towns like Gisborne, Kyneton and Castlemaine would miss out.

“Combined with the Victorian government’s cuts to TAFE funding, there is now a real question mark about whether we will be able to deliver vocational education and training,” Ms Chesters said.

with THE AGE

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