Life is set to get harder for regional Victorians under Labor, with the State Budget slashing funding in key areas including regional roads, health and agriculture.
Victoria’s crumbling regional roads will only decay further with maintenance funding slashed by 45 per cent since 2020, and from $702.2 million to just $441.6 million in the last year alone.
This comes despite 124 deaths on Victorian roads in 2023 so far, up a shocking 30 per cent on this time last year. Flood affected roads are still in dire need of repair too, particularly in areas within the Euroa electorate.
The regional development budget has again been cut, halved from $211.5 million to $106.6 million in this year’s budget. Since 2020, it has been slashed by 80 per cent.
Agriculture funding hasn’t escaped the axe either, down 34 per cent on last year from $687.3 million to $454.8 million.
This is in addition to the closure of the sustainable native timber industry being brought forward from 2030 to 2024, a death warrant for communities across regional Victoria.
Trade and global development has now been cut by $60.3 million, or almost 60 per cent, since 2020, despite Victorian farmers and farm businesses continuing to weather uncertain international markets.
On health, there is no plan in this budget to solve regional Victoria’s workforce issues. This will only leave more Victorians on waiting lists, struggling to receive the urgent care and treatment many desperately need.
Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland said under Labor, Victoria is broke, life is getting harder and regional Victorians are being punished for the Government’s incompetence.
“This budget just confirms that regional Victorians are being left behind by Labor at a time when they can least afford it,” Ms Cleeland said.
“This is made evident by cuts to funding in vital areas such as roads, health and agriculture – as well as local sports clubs, emergency services, and the timber industry.
“We’re seeing massive spending continuing in metropolitan areas, with a vast majority of projects occurring in these locations as regional Victoria receives the scraps.”