Chesters outlines budget priorities

UPGRADING Ravenswood intersection, finalised contracts for a Hawkei vehicle and Better Schools funding are budget priorities for Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters. 

The federal member for Bendigo says she will lobby electorate funding in the lead up to Budget week. 

She said her first priority would be to ensure funding committed to in previous budgets was secured.

This includes the Ravenswood intersection, which has been listed for an $86-million upgrade, with an overpass to connect the Calder Alternative Highway across the Calder Highway.

There has been three casualty crashes at the intersection since the upgrade was announced in August last year.

“The $45 million for the Ravenswood intersection upgrade has major safety implications for central Victoria," Ms Chesters said. 

“The government need to sign off on it before another accident occurs."

She will also push for the government to finalise contracts with Thales Australia to ensure the production of the Hawkei vehicle at the Bendigo plant.

She said the project would secure local jobs and hoped the Coalition would include it in its forward estimates. 

Ms Chesters said education and health were top on the agenda, with her lobbying for Better Schools funding, immediate roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and support for the new Bendigo Hospital project.

"I will also be calling on the government to fund vital programs such as Youth Connections, which provides help for young children at risk," she said. 

“It’s a large budget and I want to ensure Bendigo gets its fair share,” she said.

"I think regional centres are often forgotten but it comes back to priorities and I'll be speaking up loudly to make sure we get our share of the pie.

“As it’s the last week of sitting before Budget, this is an opportunity for me to personally raise with the government the importance of projects around the area.”

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