May 7, 2013

Budget Disappointment for Ballarat region. Howard

State MP for Ballarat East, Geoff Howard said that this year’s budget was a huge disappointment for the region. “Not only have no new capital works projects for Ballarat been listed in the Budget papers but the budget includes major cuts to spending in Health and Education” Mr Howard said.

“I am very disappointed to see that for the third year in a row no school in the entire Ballarat East electorate has been listed to receive any major upgrade funding” he said. “Daylesford Secondary school along with Mt Clear College and Ballarat Secondary are all in need of major capital works and again they have been left without support. This presents a major contrast to Labor’s time in government when up to three school upgrades were funded every year.”

“I am also concerned about the overall $69 million cut to education and $209 million cut to the health budget all noted as ‘savings’ or ‘reprioritisation and adjustments’. ” “This will clearly see many school students missing out on the educational opportunities which they should have and will see hospital waiting lists grow further.”

“In regard to road expenditure I am pleased to see that further funding has been allocated to the Ballarat Buninyong road but note that the budget figures show that much of the allocation in the coming budget is funding allocated in this year’s budget which has not been spent. It represents a reallocation of over $1.2 million which was supposed to have been spent before June this year and shows that despite my representations to the roads minister urging that he progress the roadworks as a priority less than half the funding allocated to date has actually been spent.”

“This budget again also fails to bring forward any real jobs plan for the State or for our region.” A cut back in infrastructure spending and further cuts in government employment to create “ ‘savings’ are not in the interests of Ballarat people wanting to find work. “This budget represents greater hardship and lost opportunities”. Mr Howard concluded.