Airport, aquatic centre expected to miss out

THE Kangaroo Flat Aquatic Centre, the Bendigo Airport and Bendigo Tennis Centre redevelopments and several crucial support services look likely to miss out on funding in this year's Federal Budget.  

Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters fears funding cuts will impact on the region and says "everyone will be affected by this week's announcement". 

She said the $45 million Ravenswood Interchange upgrade, promised in last year's election campaign, and continued support for the Thales’ Hawkei program were expected to be funded in the Federal Budget. 

However she said despite these commitments, there were "scary cuts looming". 

"It's great news that some things will be funded, but there are savage cuts that will affect pensioners and workers alike," she said. 

"This budget includes big cuts to the public sector, changes to the eligibility for the disability pension, and puts several services on the chopping block.

"Youth Connections and Bendigo Family and Financial are some services at risk and these programs must continue to support our residents."

Ms Chesters called for funding for the Calder Freeway upgrade, restoration of funding for the Bendigo Tennis Centre development and support for the Better Schools program. 

She said Bendigo had also been left behind other regional centres with the National Broadband Network rollout.

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

"Bendigo will rally and get through whatever cuts it suffers but the burden has been placed on local communities to pick up the slack."

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