The state budget due to be handed down today has already given us a hint of where the government believes it needs to invest in order to rejuvenate the economy.
There's been major announcements around our ongoing recovery from the pandemic, on mental health, around education, and for our emergency services.
And then there's the joint state and federally funded airport rail project, with a faster rail service for Geelong thrown in for good measure.
The government plans to pivot a revamped Sunshine station as a major hub for rail, and as the meeting point for its eye-watering $50billion-plus suburban rail loop and the new Melbourne airport line.
But simply put, Bendigo cannot afford to sit on its hands while Geelong seizes a more than reasonable advantage over us, based upon its size and geographical location.
The reality is, whatever deal Geelong gets for its rail corridor will one day need to be matched for both Bendigo and Ballarat, and it will be cheaper to plan, commission and ultimately commence such major infrastructure projects sooner rather than later.
The government needs to ensure it keeps the rest of us in regional Victoria in their thinking, and to commit to the ongoing planning for improvements to our rail corridors as well.
The reality is the closer we get to Melbourne the slower our trains travel and the more complex timetable management becomes. That's a dead giveaway that says we need more tracks to provide greater capacity, and the conversations around this need to continue.
We cannot afford regional Victoria to become a two-paced economy or transport provider, because unless the budget spoils are shared, opportunities, investment, jobs and ultimately people will follow wherever it's easiest to go.