May 7, 2013

Nothing for Hepburn Shire in Disappointing Napthine Budget – Geoff Howard MP

Geoff Howard MP, State Member for Ballarat East said that this year’s budget was a huge disappointment for the Hepburn Shire region with no specific projects earmarked.

Particularly disappointing is the continuing assault on Education and Training in the State by the Napthine Coalition Government. “There have been major cuts to spending in capital works projects in Education,” Mr Howard said.

“I am very disappointed that Daylesford Secondary College Stage Two Development 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,” Mr Howard said. “Our students and 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.”

Following the release of the budget 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 for the people of Hepburn Shire,” Mr Howard concluded.