01 May 2018

Victorian Budget off the rails

I am shocked that Labor has not provided any funding for our region’s passenger rail services in the State Budget.

For Geelong and Corangamite commuters, this is a Budget which has gone off the rails.  Where is the political will and money we urgently need to fix our overcrowded and unreliable rail services?

Premier Daniel Andrews has turned his back on the Warrnambool line upgrade and the Geelong rail duplication project, opting instead to fund a $50 million ‘bullet train’ study which is in the never-never.

The Turnbull government is providing $204 million for these projects with the State contributing only $20 million.   This is woeful.  And where is the funding to fix the regional rail link which is treating Geelong commuters as second class citizens?

While I welcome the funding for a proposed convention centre and the Shipwreck Coast Masterplan as part of the City Deal, the Turnbull government is yet to receive an individual business plan for these projects. 

We have only just been provided with summary information which I believe has been done to conceal the flaws with the convention centre business plan. There is scant detail about the proposed convention centre including in relation to the agreement with Deakin University.  

I believe that an iconic Geelong waterfront development, such as an exhibition or cultural space, must still be on the agenda.

Given the windfall revenues paid to the state from the boost in Victoria’s GST share, the sale of the Port of Melbourne and the sale of Snowy Hydro, regional Victoria has received far less than its fair share in this State Budget.  

1 May 2018