GREG'S LEGACY

Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

State Budget – Limited benefits for country Victoria

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Country Victoria has missed out on its fair share of the $34 billion 2007 State budget according to Member for Benalla and Nationals Treasury Spokesperson, Bill Sykes.

Dr Sykes welcomed investments in school upgrades, public housing and increased support for kindergartens, neighbourhood houses and respite care, noting however that until the details are made public, the exact benefits to country Victoria remain unclear.

On the other side of the coin, Dr Sykes expressed strong disappointment about Government failure to provide additional drought assistance measures or to fund the securing of water supplies for Bright, Wangaratta, Mansfield and Euroa/Violet Town.

Dr Sykes said, “The Government continues to hope for more rain rather than take decisive action to provide support such as fodder freight subsidies, cash grants for drought affected farmers and businesses and to fund projects such as expanding Lake Buffalo and Lake William Hovell”.

Dr Sykes also noted that the Government’s financial management skills remain questionable.

He said, “The Bracks Government’s expenditure has exceeded budget by $9 billion over the past seven years. Their books have been balanced by unexpected and unbudgeted windfall gains from land tax and traffic fines in particular”.

Dr Sykes continued, “As a member of the Parliamentary Public Accounts and Estimates Committee I will have the opportunity to question all Government Ministers over the next few weeks starting with the Premier and the Treasurer this week.

“I will be asking them to clarify what is specifically in the budget for country Victoria, that is, the area outside Melbourne and the major provincial cities of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.

“I will also seek clarification on yet to be delivered pre election promises including:-
• Tawonga Primary School’s portable buildings being replaced with permanent buildings; and
• $50,000 grant to upgrade public toilets at the Euroa Memorial Park.

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Written by Greg Naylor

2 May 2007 at 6:23 pm

Posted in media release

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