April 1, 2014

Why Isn’t Napthine Starting Now?

Responding to the announcement by Premier Napthine that Vicroads may move to a site adjacent Ballarat’s Civic Hall, Geoff Howard MP, Member for Ballarat East, said that the announcement was a cynical act which lacked credibility.

After 3 1/2 years in Government Mr Napthine has advised that if re-elected then in year 5 they will “be looking at doing expressions of interest for the development of the Civic Hall site as a site for the VicRoads office.”

Mr Napthine cannot tell us how much this proposal will cost and he cannot say when this will happen.

Ballarat people could rightly have expected more from this government.

This government has sacked more than 400 government workers in Ballarat, many of them previously employed in the Departments of Education, Human Services and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries whose offices are all located near the Civic Hall.

They have also stood back as numerous other jobs have been lost in the Ballarat region including well over 5000 manufacturing jobs.

They have not presented any Jobs Plan for the Region and only now in the shadow of the State election marking the end of their 4 year term of office, only now have they presented this un-costed, half-baked plan to support jobs in Ballarat.

Given this government’s disastrous record in being able to work with government employees to complete new employment agreements, Ambulance Paramedics and Fire Service workers provide two current examples, how will Mr Napthine ever be able to negotiate a successful agreement to move the VicRoads staff from Kew?

This Napthine proposal is not credible.

Ballarat deserves better.

Labor led the way with the transfer of government offices from Melbourne to Ballarat,
with the relocation of the State Revenue Office to Mt Helen.

Steve Bracks, as Premier, did not do this as an election pledge but simply identified
the opportunity and made it happen.

Labor will be presenting its comprehensive Jobs Plan for the Region in a timely manner ahead of the election and it will be well considered and deliverable.