The Andrews Government is hoarding crucial Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) funds as a smokescreen to prop up the budget bottom line.
Established in 2010 as a way for landowners in new housing areas to contribute to services like new train stations, bus lines, and buying land for schools and community centres, Labor has sat on this fund, starving growth areas of vital infrastructure.
The GAIC only applies to certain local ar eas, with the Mitchell LGA one of seven areas included.
Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland said the GAIC offered an opportunity for people within the Mitchell Shire to contribute to the infrastructure of their own communities, particularly those within the development corridor from Wallan to Kilmore and Broadford.
“There are so many projects that could benefit from these funds, including upgrades to critical infrastructure such as schools, improved public transport facilities, and facilities for our many community groups to operate,” Ms Cleeland said.
“After missing out in the State Budget year after year, this would give our towns another avenue to improve their facilities.”
Landowners, including developers, pay about $110,000 per hectare of land to the fund, which is administered by the Treasurer and Minister for Planning, yet out of more than $1.1bn collected, more than $484 million remains unspent.
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region, Evan Mulholland, said Treasurer Tim Pallas is like a dragon sitting on a pile of gold and he’s not giving it up to the people it is owed to.
“This is people’s own money that they’ve contributed for infrastructure in their own communities, like those in my electorate in Kalkallo, who I am sure would love additional community and transport infrastructure,” Mr Mulholland said.
“Whether it be in Kalkallo, Beveridge, or Wallan, Victorians in growth areas are waiting hours to get out of their own housing estates at peak hour.
“There is a basic expectation from locals that community infrastructure is delivered before, not years after residents move in.”