With Victoria’s State Budget for 2023/24 set to be announced on Tuesday, May 23, Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland has outlined some of the major projects needing funding in
Some of the projects Ms Cleeland hopes to see receive funding in the budget include:
– The Benalla Indoor Recreation Centre
– A dialysis unit at Benalla Health
– The Tomorrow Today foundation
Alongside stadium user groups, Ms Cleeland collected over 400 signatures on a petition calling for a rebuild of the rec centre, which was tabled in Victorian Parliament by Steph Ryan before the November election.
The Nationals made a commitment to fund the rebuild if elected to government which was subsequently supported by the Victorian Government, thanks to the advocacy of Ms Cleeland.
“It was great to have so many stadium user groups on the same page pushing the need for a rebuild of the facility with increased capacity,” Ms Cleeland said.
“The community drove this project. We don’t want to see anyone missing out on community sport because the resources aren’t there to support them.
“With such a strong petition backing the need for a new stadium it made it difficult for the Victorian Government to look the other way. I appreciate them coming to the table and matching The Nationals’ commitment.”
The need for funding a dialysis unit at Benalla Health has arisen due to strong advocacy work by members of the community, with constituents in the town raising the issue with Ms Cleeland.
The Nationals made a commitment to funding this ahead of the last election, however it was not supported by the Labor Government.
“Currently there are no dialysis treatment options in Benalla, meaning people needing medical attention are forced to travel to Wangaratta,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Speaking to residents in Benalla, it is obvious there is considerable demand for this service. We need to ensure individuals can access important health services close to their homes and support
“Our local healthcare workers deserve to have access to the basic funding and resources they need to provide quality care to our communities. It has been disheartening to see this government prioritise an unnecessary metro rail line over the health and well-being of regional Victorians.”
The Tomorrow Today foundation is a project that Ms Cleeland has advocated for on several occasions, discussing it in parliament and raising questions about its funding future to the Treasurer and senior ministers.
Tomorrow Today received funding from the Victorian Government in 2021, however this is set to expire at the end of this financial year.
Ms Cleeland said the work undertaken by Tomorrow Today provided a strong return on investment and was of great benefit to the local community.
“Tomorrow Today is a transformative organisation. They have made a significant and tangible impact, driving positive outcomes for families across the region,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Since the beginning of the Education Benalla Program the outlook for youth in Benalla has dramatically improved.
“This ranges from a reduction in the proportion of children developmentally vulnerable to a 350 per cent increase in work experience placements.”
The Victorian State Budget will be announced on Tuesday, May 23.