120 hours x 200 = a great effort
Roads Minister Luke Donnellan was in town this week to recognise the fantastic achievement of the Berry Street program L2P in Northern Victoria to celebrate its 200th licenced driver. I feel proud to represent a community that values its young people by fundraising and volunteering all these hours to drive with learner drivers under 21 years of age so they reach their 120 hours of mandatory training, which through personal circumstances they might not otherwise be able to do. A big “well done” to all involved.
The inequity in the educational outcomes for rural and regional students when compared with the results achieved by those who live in metropolitan Melbourne needs to be addressed. We all understand a good education starts at home with great parental support, but not all children are lucky enough to have that. In Parliament I called on Education Minister James Merlino for a commitment to fund two of the excellent projects that our local educators have developed: the Better Together Alliance and the Neighbourhood Schools Project . I was heartened by Minister Merlino’s response and will meet him soon to discuss the projects’ needs.
I continue to hammer home the state of Shepparton rail services. Recently the All Aboard Campaign committee met at my office to talk tactics while in Parliament I asked the Transport Minister whether Public Transport Victoria can research registered Myki cards to analyse where people travel from to board the train at Seymour. I think this would be a very useful bit of information in our All Aboard campaign where we’re lobbying for better and faster services between Shepparton and Melbourne. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence from constituents to suggest many people drive from Shepparton and towns far beyond including Nathalia, Barmah, Numurkah, Strathmerton and Cobram to Seymour to access a more regular train service to Melbourne. I often do this myself. I would be interested to hear your experiences!
Budget waiting game
The Victorian State Budget will be handed down by Treasurer Tim Pallas on April 27, less than three weeks away. Minister Pallas toured Goulburn Valley Health’s Shepparton campus with me on his recent visit and gave the impression he will give serious consideration to my budget “wish list”, headed by the much-needed first stage of the GV Health redevelopment. Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo have enjoyed the benefits of the big-ticket budget items that Shepparton District has missed out on. It’s our turn.