With the Victorian State Budget set to be announced on Tuesday, May 23, Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland has discussed funding priorities for towns within the Strathbogie Shire, including Euroa, Avenel, Longwood, Nagambie, and Violet Town.
In Euroa, Ms Cleeland spoke on the need for funding projects such as Greening Euroa, as well as critical recurrent funding from the Government to keep the doors open at Euroa Health’s hospital.
The Greening Euroa project, an innovative community driven project involving the use of recycled water to irrigate public spaces in the town, has been searching for funding at both a Federal and State level.
For Euroa Health, the need for State Government funding is critical.
Ms Cleeland has met with representatives of the hospital since being elected, with The Nationals committing to provide the necessary funding for the hospital. This funding was not matched by the Labor Government, who have failed to respond to Ms Cleeland’s multiple parliamentary questions about the hospital.
“Strathbogie remains the only local government area in Victoria that has no publicly funded hospital,” Ms Cleeland said.
“This crucial local health service does so much to take the strain off GV Health while serving the community with high standard aged and acute care services.
“With our health system in such a dire state through bloated waitlists and a 000 system in crisis, it is crucial regional Victorians have local, accessible and high-quality health care – exactly what Euroa Health provides.”
Ahead of the budget, Ms Cleeland has called for further investment in the region, in particular for sporting clubs who have been consistently advocating for upgraded facilities.
“I’ve had several conversations with sporting clubs across the electorate about their desperate need for improved and fit for service facilities,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Longwood are pushing for female changerooms and rightfully so. With close to 150 netballers using the courts during the season every home game there is a serious need for change and
“You can see similar pushes from clubs in Violet Town and Euroa too. We all know the benefits of being involved in community sport and this environment needs to be inclusive and support female
In Avenel and Nagambie, Ms Cleeland spoke about the continuous efforts of community groups like Avenel Active that are pushing to minimise the power outages they are plagued by.
Ms Cleeland also discussed the need to improve access to childcare providers in those towns, visiting Avenel last month with Shadow Treasurer Brad Rowswell.
“There are huge childcare shortages in Avenel and Nagambie that urgently need to be addressed,” Ms Cleeland said.
“These towns aren’t inaccessible backwaters but they are placed at a disadvantage when childcare is so rare.
“I’ve spoken to so many parents who are wanting to get back into the workforce but can’t because they are unable to get their kids into childcare.
“This is a real handbrake for us and places a hurdle in front of young people who want to raise their family in the country.
“We’ve got incredible local childcare providers but in some places there’s up to six kids competing for each place. It’s simply not sustainable.
“I will continue to fight for these investments.”
The Victorian State Budget will be announced on Tuesday, May 23.