May 6, 2014  |  Members Statements

Ballarat Region Infrastructure

Mr HOWARD (Ballarat East)— In 2010 the Baillieu opposition made  a number of election promises to the people of the Ballarat region. However, when it came to office, the coalition forgot those  promises. It  is only  in this year that the Napthine coalition  government has realised that  it should take  action  on its promises  in   a   desperate  bid   ahead   of   this   year’s   election.   The Ballarat-Buninyong Road upgrade works will only  be half completed by the end of this four-year term, and the Mount Helen  fire station should be just completed. However, while much was said about a helipad  for  the  Ballarat  hospital, this will  not  be  completed  by  the end of this government’s term either.  Premier Napthine has confirmed that promises of  a  police  station for Sebastopol and a second rail platform at Ballan station will also no longer be honoured.

By contrast, in the first term of  the Bracks government Labor delivered much in our region. As an example, it identified the opportunity to  relocate  the State Revenue  Office to Ballarat and acted immediately to see the  new site  at Mount Helen open within two years of  coming to  office. This government has done very little to support job growth  in  Ballarat,  and  its three-plus years in office have seen it sack nearly 500 government employees in the area. It has sat on its hands  while hundreds  more jobs  have gone.  It is  only now the  government is talking about the  possibility of moving the government office to Ballarat if it is re-elected. It should have acted before now.