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Murrindindi Shire the big losers in the budget

The Andrews Labor Government has outspent itself with a city-focussed State Budget that delivers little for regional Victorians.

The resilience of those living in regional Victoria has been stretched to the limit this year, first by the summer bushfires and then two waves of coronavirus shutdowns that blew a hole in the local economy.

State Member for Eildon, Cindy McLeish MP, is concerned and disappointed that the State Budget didn’t deliver the boost to regional jobs, local projects, roads, schools and businesses that is desperately needed.

Ms McLeish said, “Towns in the Murrindindi Shire have been completely left out of the budget, causing further disappointment after such a rough year.”

“Bushfires hit the local tourism sector and small businesses in the Shire for six. In January I remember being in Alexandra and Yea when all parks closed, and visitors told to leave because of the fires. The loss of tourism during that period was extraordinary, then the impact of COVID-19 restrictions caused further financial damage.”

“There is nothing in the budget for those living in Murrindindi and don’t they know it. There are many tourism projects that could be invested in including the Lake Eildon Masterplan, Alexandra Youth Precinct, Eildon Reserve Precinct and a number of road safety improvements. Yet they have nothing.”

“All highways need attention and despite record borrowings, roads funding has remained static.”

Through this pandemic Victorian’s have suffered job losses like virtually never before. Unemployment is at 7.4 per cent and underemployed is at 13 per cent, meaning one in five—20 per cent—of Victorian’s have been impacted this way.

Instead of providing an immediate boost across our state by funding shovel-ready projects, Daniel Andrews will borrow big for massive infrastructure in Melbourne that won’t be ready for years.

This year’s State Budget was an ideal opportunity to restore confidence by funding priority projects communities have been calling for.

Wild dog and deer management have been an ongoing issue across the region and high country as State Labor Government struggle to control the situation. The deer management funding contributes to $3 per deer, simply not enough to make a large impact while more wild dog traps are being introduced. This is not enough to decrease the rapidly growing numbers or protect farmers livestock and property from damage.

“Daniel Andrews is a Premier with no plan and no money for regional Victoria who’s robbing those living in the country of a genuine boost towards recovery,” Ms McLeish concludes.


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