May 7, 2013

Budget Disappointment for Macedon Ranges Region – Geoff Howard MP

State MP for Ballarat East, Geoff Howard said that this year’s budget was a huge disappointment for the region. “There have been major cuts to spending in capital works projects in Education” Mr Howard said.

“I am very disappointed that the K-12 Kyneton Education Plan did not receive any funding. 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. “Not only does the Kyneton K-12 Plan provide for exciting opportunities for kinder and school students, the move of the Primary School to the Secondary site will leave further possibilities for the Kyneton community as the central Primary school site would be available for community use. “I have worked with the school community through its development of this great K-12 plan and, like the school communities, I want to see it become a reality.

“Our education system deserves better. “

I am also concerned about the $69 million cut to education overall and $209 million cut to the health budget, all noted as ‘savings’ or ‘reprioritisation and adjustments’.” said Mr Howard. “

Apprentices will also suffer from the State Government Budget. The Napthine Government has cut the $20 million Trade Bonus that will see skilled apprentices no longer eligible to receive a funding grant at the commencement of their apprenticeship.”

Today Mr Howard joined Daniel Andrews Leader of the Opposition at the University of Ballarat TAFE campus to talk with apprentices, parents and teachers about their concerns over the impacts of the Napthine Liberal Government’s slashing of the Trade Bonus. “This bonus helps apprentices to pay for uniforms and tools and will be a further disincentive for young people to take on an apprenticeship.

“On top of the damage to TAFE this is a further blow to skills training.”

“This budget represents greater hardship and lost opportunities”. Mr Howard concluded.