Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has expressed disappointment at the lack of investment in the Shepparton District in the 2015-16 Victorian Budget.
Ms Sheed said she expected the Andrews Labor Government to use their first budget to deliver on election promises, but that she had hoped for more.
“The Treasurer said this budget has ‘fairness at its heart and families in its reach’,” Ms Sheed said.
“It’s hard to see how that statement relates to the Shepparton District at all.”
Ms Sheed said preferential treatment had been given to Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat with new tech schools, trains and hospitals.
The only specific mention of funding for the Shepparton District came in the form of $1 million for planning at Goulburn Valley Health.
The government will progress planning for the proposed redevelopment of the Shepparton service.
“The Goulburn Valley Health master plan has been in development for more than 15 years,” Ms Sheed said.
“I hope this funding for the completion of the planning stage once and for all decides on the best facility needed to meet the growing health demands of the Shepparton and district community now, and into the future.
“I want to see this final stage of what seems to have been a very protracted process.
“I call on the Government to ensure that there is now public consultation in this final stage so that our community gets the health service it should have.
“Our community is over last minute election promises that bear little reflection to what is needed.
“It is time that a transparent process is undertaken so that the focus is put on what is needed taking into account the views of our doctors and nurses who work at the coalface delivering directly to patients and who are true advocates in our communities.
“I expect once we have put forward our final proposition the Andrews Labor Government will invest in the facility our community deems necessary in the next three years.”
There was no budget money for a desperately needed upgrade of Shepparton’s rail service.
But Ms Sheed said she hopes the $2 billion committed by the Andrews Government for trains and trams will include an upgrade of the Shepparton – Seymour line and new trains.
“We need to show the Minister for Public Transport how desperately we need an upgrade of the line and rolling stock,” she said.
“I urge everyone who wants an improved service to join the All Aboard Shepparton campaign on May 28th to push the government to make a real rail commitment to this region.”
Ms Sheed expects the Shepparton District will benefit from:
- $200 million Regional Jobs Fund
- $50 million Back To Work Fund
- $32 million for Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs) throughout Victoria.
- $86.7 million to resurface unsafe, deteriorating road surfaces around the state.
- $300 million TAFE Rescue Fund.
- $18 million to expand and modernise rehabilitation services, particularly in rural and regional Victoria.
5 May 2015