Community advocacy secured a further $17 million for the Kilmore Bypass land acquisition in the State Budget, while crucial investments fail to secure funding in the Victorian State Budget.
Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland and Liberal Member for Northern Metro Evan Mulholland outlined wish-lists for the region earlier in the month, with the Kilmore Bypass, Wallan Interchange, upgraded SES facility, and funding for schools in Kilmore and Broadford key priorities.
The result is a mixed bag for the region, with the SES facility and the Kilmore Bypass receiving some funding, while the schools unfortunately missed out.
The Kilmore SES facility will receive $6 million to build a new station, something Ms Cleeland had said was a long time coming.
“The crew have been knocking back volunteers because they simply do not have the space or infrastructure to support new members,” Ms Cleeland said.
“A new and upgraded shed will allow the SES to expand services, welcome new volunteers and continue to serve the region with distinction.
“The Liberals and Nationals made a commitment to fund this upgrade, which was matched by the Government and confirmed in this week’s budget.”
Funding has also been announced for the Kilmore Bypass, with $17 million allocated to the project next financial year.
Ms Cleeland said relentless community advocacy meant the Kilmore Bypass project was finally being taken seriously by the Labor Government.
“This project has been delayed year after year by the Labor Government,” Ms Cleeland said.
“It has been the number one priority for the region and after eight years, there was not even a business case or costing established for the bypass.
“With the money allocated and expected to be used in the near future, it is hopeful that some progress will finally be made.”
In a disappointing development, the need to address schooling issues in the local area have been neglected in the budget, with both Kilmore, Broadford and Seymour set to remain without the appropriate facilities needed to match the rapid growth in the towns.
“Kilmore remains without a public secondary school and the nearby Broadford Secondary had to turn away several families at the start of this year due to the school being so close to capacity,” Ms Cleeland said.
“There is obvious demand for public secondary schooling in Kilmore. While Assumption is a fantastic school, not every family can afford to send their children there.
“This is why The Nationals committed to both funding a business case for a new public school in Kilmore as well as $8 million towards upgrading Broadford Secondary College and $6.1 million for Seymour College.
“It’s disappointing to see a lack of action on this matter in Labor’s budget.”
Liberal Member for the Northern Metropolitan region Evan Mulholland said the issues extended across much of the region, with Wallan set to suffer after the budget was confirmed.
“This brutal State Labor Budget is making life harder for locals in Wallan,” Mr Mulholland said.
“There is a $150 million cut to road maintenance, which means Wallan locals are going to be forced to plant more flower beds on the northern highway in order to get pot-holes fixed.”
“I welcome the government has honoured the $130 million committed to the Wallan Diamond pledged by both major parties at the election. But worryingly, we’re not even getting a plan and a business case for the Watson Street, Wallan Diamond Interchange until next year, and the completion date is now in doubt.
“A firm completion date is now “to be confirmed” with Federal Labor putting $50million of funding on ice, pending their Federal Infrastructure Review.
“They refuse to rule out cutting funding budgeted by the former Federal Liberal Government.“
“Where is Rob Mitchell, Ros Spence and Lauren Kathage advocating for the Federal Government to keep this money in Wallan? Labor have taken this project to four separate state and federal elections. They just need to get on with it.”