Strong state benefits regions

FUNDS BOOST: Michael O'Brien speaks with media yesterday.

FUNDS BOOST: Michael O'Brien speaks with media yesterday.

VICTORIAN Treasurer Michael O'Brien visited Bendigo and Ballarat yesterday promoting regional projects that have received a generous boost thanks to the State Budget.

"This (state) budget we are in a stronger financial position, we are able to invest across the whole of the state," Mr O'Brien said.

"We have growing surpluses and falling debt, which makes us stronger, financially, than any other state in the country and we can now pay dividends to the community."

Two Bendigo projects that received an injection of funds after the State Budget included the Bendigo Aquatic Centre with $15 million and the Ravenswood Interchange with $41 million.

"(Ravenswood) is one of those projects where the community has been calling out for it for ages," Mr O'Brien said.

"It's so good to be able to step up and get something done. 

"It's a project that will save lives."

Mr O'Brien said a lot of credit for the new Greater Bendigo Aquatic Centre went to the City of Greater Bendigo.

"We listen to local communities and through the council it was clear to us that this one of their top priorities locally," he said.

"It is something that will benefit 430,00 people annually."

Mr O'Brien said the financial strength of Victoria was spread right across the state.

"Communities get a bit tired of governments saying they are planning this or designing that," he said.

"They want to see funds, they want to see construction and they want too see projects happen.

"(These projects) are happening, the money's there and it's going ahead."

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